France’s Caroline Garcia fended off a major challenge by fellow unseeded player Ashleigh Barty of Australia to win her biggest career title at the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open.
The match started with the 37th-ranked Barty finally holding serve after seven deuces and two break points saved and even though Garcia did use her chances to go up later on, to 4-2 and 5-3, the calm and collected Barty refused to give in and with a peaceful strength leveled to 5-all, and then again to 6-all, before imposing her willpower in the tiebreak.
Still frustrated by the way the first set slipped away, the world No.20 Garcia quickly fell to 0-2 in the second set, but recovered before long and in the seventh game Barty started what turned out to be a stretch of six breaks that led to another tiebreak, which was this time dominated by Garcia, who then established a 3-1 lead in the third set and earned another break before grabbing the victory with a stunning serve and score 6-7(3) 7-6(4) 6-2.
En route to the Premier 5 title and $487,245 in prize money, Garcia eliminated 12th seed Angelique Kerber in the first round, Christina McHale in the second, seventh seed Dominika Cibulkova in the third, Ekaterina Makarova in the quarterfinals, Maria Sakkari in the semis, and finally Barty, whose run to the final was nothing short of spectacular as the average rank of the Australian’s opponents was No.15, compared to Garcia’s No.43. Garcia is projected to go as high as No.16 in the WTA rankings on Monday.
Garcia’s winning apparel: Earlier in the week, the 23-year-old was sporting the pictured Nike Fall Slam NYC Tank and Nike Fall NYC Skirt featuring built-in extra long compression shorts with pockets, while later in the tournament she launched Nike’s winter collection, the Nike Winter Premier Slam Tank and the Nike Winter Power Spin Skirt, paired with the Zoom Vapor 9.5 Tour shoes.