China Open, Beijing
Women’s Final:  Simona Halep (ROU) vs.  Caroline Garcia (FRA)
Garcia is finally living up to the potential she has shown in the past but had not been able to produce consistently. Hampered by nerves early in her career and prone to collapsing under the pressure, Garcia has turned her career around in the last two years. The new-found confidence is evident now in the consistency seen in how deep she goes in draws. Could she keep it going?
She won the Wuhan title last week by dispatching former number one Angelique Kerber in the first round. Today she had the unenviable task of trying to defeat the current number one, Halep, a player she had never beaten before. Who was feeling the pressure more today? Probably the newly crowned number one Halep, who was playing in her first match as the number one ranked player on tour.
The nerves were present early as Garcia was broken in her first service game; however, Halep quickly returned the favor by giving back the break in her first service game. After that, they both settled into the match nicely; however, Garcia was playing more freely. All the pressure was on Halep and she felt it late in the first set as she served to stay in the set and failed.
The second set was more competitive; however, once again it was Garcia who won the critical points. Nerves were a recurrent theme in this match for the Romanian as she squandered nine break point opportunities in the seventh game to get the break lead. It was only fitting that it went to a tiebreak and Garcia weathered the nerves better than Halep to win 6-4, 7-6(3) and claim her new career high as a top ten player.
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