An Emotional Caroline Garcia After Loss to Cibulkova in Madrid
Niall Clarke, Tennis Atlantic
It has been an incredible and unpredictable start to the women’s side of the Mutua Madrid Open with many of the top seeds bowing out in the opening two rounds. However one of the more interesting matches came in a top quarter that see’s not a single seeded player left in the section.
On Aranxta Sanchez Vicario stadium, Dominika Cibulkova and Caroline Garcia engaged in a near two hour roller coaster which the Slovakian eventually won 0-6, 6-3, 6-4
The Frenchwoman was on fire in the opening nine games, blasting winners as Cibulkova struggled to keep up. Garcia raced through the first set 6-0 and looked comfortable with a break at 3-0, but then a dramatic shift in momentum saw Cibulkova win the next six games to level the score at one set all.
The third set was fought hard by both players, but Cibulkova held her nerve, and serve, to put score line pressure on Garcia with a 5-4 lead. The 22-year-old then dropped serve with a disappointing double fault to round off a disappointing loss.
“It was not very good actually, and it’s sad I lost today.” aid a tearful Garcia.
“I was good in the beginning, but I lost a bit of my game and she started to play good, and I changed a little bit of my game and it didn’t go where I wanted it to.”
The clay season is big for the Frenchwoman as it all leads up to her home Grand Slam, Rolland Garros. The French Open was the stage where a 17 year old Garcia pronounced herself to the tour by almost defeating Maria Sharapova on Phillippe Chatrier court in 2011. Five years has past since that second round contest, and her home slam has not always been kind to her.
So how does she feel about her game as we fast approach the second Grand Slam of the year?
“My game is just sometimes not going the way I want. I work a lot outside the court and we will see how I play at the French Open, but don’t have a lot of expectations there”, Garcia said.
Despite some disappointing losses at the French Open, the WTA world number 49 won a tournament in Limoges last year and has played well in the Fed Cup in front of her home crowd. However, previous experiences at Roland Garros still play on her mind.
“A lot has happened over there. Sometimes I have played well in the past and sometimes I have had a bad draw in the first round, and last year was not a good match for me, but it can happen everywhere so we will see how this one goes.”
Along with her friend Kristina Mladenovic and compatriot Alize Cornet, there will be a lot of pressure on the French contingent to perform, but first Garcia will finish off her doubles campaign in Madrid then head to Rome next week in the company of her minions.
“I don’t know if I am a big fan (laughs), but I find them funny and I like them.”