Caroline Garcia beat Aryna Sabalenka 7-6(4) 6-4 in the championship match of the WTA Finals in Fort Worth, becoming the second player from France to win the season-ending tournament after Amelie Mauresmo in 2005.
The WTA Finals title match featured just one break point, in the first game of the second set, and Garcia converted it. Earlier, in the first-set tiebreak, Garcia won six consecutive points to go from 0-2 to 6-2 and Sabalenka’s third double fault ended the set.
The sixth-seeded Garcia was just two points away from defeat in the winner-takes-it-all round-robin match against Daria Kasatkina, after which she cruised past Maria Sakkari in the semifinals. Her final opponent Sabalenka was only the fourth player in history to defeat the world No.1, No.2 and No.3 en route to the championship match at a WTA tournament, joining Steffi Graf (1999 Roland Garros), Serena Williams (2022 Miami) and Venus Williams (2008 WTA Finals).
This is Garcia’s fourth title of the season and the biggest of her career. Having won Bad Homburg (grass), Warsaw (clay), Cincinnati (hard) and now the WTA Finals (indoor), the 29-year-old has triumphed on three surfaces this year and under one roof.
During 2022, Garcia has recorded career-best eight Top 10 wins. Her 11 aces in the final have taken her season total to a Tour-leading 394.
The triumph at the WTA Finals will lift Garcia to the No.4 position in the WTA rankings, making her the first French player to finish in the year-end Top 5 since Amelie Mauresmo was No.3 in 2006. This time last year, Garcia was ranked No.74.