Caroline Garcia downs Aryna Sabalenka to win WTA Finals

Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Caroline Garcia earned the biggest championship of her career on Monday, capturing the WTA Finals with a 7-6 (4), 6-4 win over Aryna Sabalenka in Fort Worth, Texas.

Garcia, a 29-year-old France native who was seeded sixth, has never been to a Grand Slam final, but she now owns 11 WTA Tour event titles.

Sabalenka, a 24-year-old Belarusian who was seeded seventh, also has yet to make a major singles final. Both Garcia and Sabalenka reached the U.S. Open semifinals this year, Garcia’s best Grand Slam result, while Sabalenka had two prior semifinal appearances.

Garcia prevailed thanks to a flawless serving performance. She never faced a break point in the match while serving 11 aces and just one double fault. Garcia also had an edge in winners (24-15) and logged fewer errors (11-10).

Neither player broke serve in the first set. Sabalenka took the first two points of the tiebreaker, Garcia won the next six, and Garcia sealed the set on her third set point.

The lone service break of the match came in the first game of the second set, when Garcia took advantage of her only break point on the night.

“Today was an amazing final, so much intensity on every single point,” Garcia said.

A key in the tiebreaker was Sabalenka double-faulting twice.

“I just dropped my level for a little bit,” Sabalenka said in her post-match press conference. “On the tie break and the first game of the second set. That’s it. I did my best, (but) she played unbelievable tennis.”

Garcia reveled in the victory that will raise her ranking to a career-high No. 4.

“To all the people I have been able to share the past to this trophy,” she said. “I met a lot of people along the way. Some people are here, some people that met me when I was a 12-year-old little girl.

“I took memories, and I took positives from all those experiences and I would like to thanks all these experiences who have made me a better person and a better player.”

In the doubles final, Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova and Belgium’s Elise Mertens beat Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova 6-2, 4-6, 11-9, preventing the Czech duo from winning the title in back-to-back years.

–Field Level Media

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