Wuhan Open, China
[CR22] Sara Errani (ITA) vs. [CR39] Caroline Garcia (FRA)
It was a match dominated by breaks, as neither player felt much confidence with their serve. Errani is well-known for a weak serve; yet, she has managed to succeed despite not having a powerful serve. Thus, I expected her serve to be broken; in fact, I am constantly amazed that it’s not broken more often. She is able to protect her weak serve because she is tenacious and frankly, one of the fittest players on tour. Garcia has a bigger serve; however, she has been struggling with her own bout of nerves and it has impacted her game, especially her serve. In the end, perhaps it was not a surprise that they traded six breaks in the first set and five in the second set. Errani is a fighter though and will push you to either elevate your game or fall apart trying to adjust to her tactics.
A third set would determine who moved on to the next round and I was not quite sure who would win this one until the very last ball. Neither player was doing well at holding serve. Although Garcia has the bigger serve and forehand, she lacked consistent accuracy; therefore, I picked Errani to win. There is something about her ferocious tenacity that makes you believe in her. However, Garcia has the more powerful game and if she could settle her nerves, she would be favored to win despite the difference in their ranking. That’s just what she did, a little wobble in the third, but she quickly recovered to win the match 6-7(4), 6-4 and 6-2. Next up for Garcia is American, Coco Vandeweghe. They met once, last year at this tournament, and Garcia won easily. Will Vandeweghe find a way to change the outcome of this next encounter?