Caroline Garcia was eliminated by Maria Sakkari in Doha


After coming very close to elimination on Wednesday against the Czech Karolina Muchova (6-7, 7-5,…

Caroline Garcia was eliminated by Maria Sakkari in Doha

Caroline Garcia was eliminated by Maria Sakkari in Doha

After coming very close to elimination on Wednesday against the Czech Karolina Muchova (6-7, 7-5, 6-4), Caroline Garcia left the WTA 500 tournament in Doha in her second match on Thursday. In the quarter-finals, she was taken out by the Greek Maria Sakkari in 2h41 (6-2, 6-7 [5]7-6 [5]).

Maria Sakkari was however a “friendly” face for Caroline Garcia. Each time she had faced the Greek player, not only had she beaten her, but she had also gone to the end of the tournament, winning three of her four biggest titles, whether in Wuhan in 2017 (6-3, 6-2 in the semi-finals), in Cincinnati in 2022 (7-6, 6-7, 6-1 in the 2nd round) or at the very last Masters, in Fort Worth (6-3, 6-2 in the semi-finals , Again…).

And as Garcia remained on eight victories in her last ten matches against players from the world’s top 10, since last summer, beating the No. 7 WTA seemed to be within her reach. Except that the Lyonnaise has not yet quite regained its level and its range at the end of last season. Always bandaged at the top of the left thigh, never totally relaxed, she could not take the upper hand in this close match until the end, which will probably serve as a benchmark for future tournaments, because there are good to keep.

After three hotly contested first games, the first set quickly slipped away on the Greek side, due to numerous unforced errors from Garcia (6-2 in 35 minutes). Much more authoritative on his engagement from the second set, Garcia missed two balls at 5-3, then saw Sakkari hit a forehand winner to dismiss a set point at 4-5. At 5-5, the Frenchman in turn saved a break point thanks to a big cross backhand.

Two sets in a row without the slightest break

In the tie-break, Sakkari broke away (3-1, 5-4, serves to follow) but it was Garcia who scored the last three points of the set, the last of which on a drop half-volley. And in the last round, which did not see the shadow of a break point, it was a new decisive game which decided the fate of the match. Garcia may regret this forehand into the net, at 3-1 for her, just behind the deep and awkward return she had managed to hit. and that should have given him the upper hand in the point. It was on a final passing forehand winner that Sakkari validated his ticket to the semi-finals, a few minutes later. In 2023, Garcia currently has a record of eleven wins in fifteen matches, which many would be satisfied with, but surely not her.

Finally winner of the French, Sakkari was delighted with her evening, and impressed by these two sets in a row without the raisers having won a single game: “It was so hard to win points on his serve, but this third set, without a break point, it was really something! It’s not something you see often. I’m super happy, I think I was brave after losing the second set. » Maria Sakkari, 7th WTA, will challenge American Jessica Pegula, 4th, in the semi-finals on Friday. The second half will pit Iga Swiatek, world No. 1, against Veronika Kudermetova, 11th.

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