Garcia, Bertens Complete Successful French Open Warm-Ups
Niall Clarke, Tennis Atlantic
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Caroline Garcia and Kiki Bertens claimed titles in Strasbourg and Nurnberg respectively ahead of the French Open.
Garcia Sours to Strasbourg Success
Garcia overcame an in-form Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-4, 6-1 to claim her third WTA title and her second in France in Saturday’s final in Strasbourg.
The 22-year-old raced to a 5-1 lead in the opening set, but nerves began to set in as Lucic raised her level. The Croatian got both breaks back to get to 5-4, but Garcia (with the help of her dad and coach) collected herself to break again and seal the opener 6-4.
The second set looked much like the first. Garcia enjoys playing against big hitters and this final was no exception. The Frenchwoman raced to a 5-1 lead again, but this time she made no mistake. A clinical finish with an ace secured victory and the title for Garcia.
“I felt very confident going into the final. The first set I let her back into it. The first set is super important in tennis for momentum. Because you want to get off to a good start. And I got that today, which helped for the rest of the match,” Garcia said via wtatennis.com.
The world number 55 has often struggled to deal with the pressure of playing in front of her home fans, but after winning titles in Limoges and Strasbourg in the past year, Garcia may feel an extra bit of confidence ahead of the French open.
“Another title is great – it’s progress but every tournament is a new chance to develop,” she added. “But today is a great day for me, especially in front of home fans here in France.”
It was still a great week for Lucic-Baroni who made the final here 19 years a go. The Croatian came through qualifying and played great tennis all week, but she found the final a step too far.
“It was my seventh match. I was a bit slow. A bit tired. It was to be expected. I’m proud to get to the final though.”
Garcia’s victory moves her back into the top 40 and heavily boosts her chances of making the Olympics main draw cut off.
Brilliant Bertens Wins Nurnberg
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Kiki Bertens claimed her second WTA title with a 6-2,6-2 victory over Mariana Duque-Marino in Nurnberg.
The Dutchwoman outclassed her opponent in both sets to claim victory in just over an hour. It was a close start with the opening four games shared, but from there Bertens took control, winning the next four to claim the opening set.
In no mood to drag this out, Bertens raced through the second set to pick up her second WTA title and her second on clay.
“I think I played really well today – I was serving good and going for my shots. I had really good length to my shots and so she couldn’t do much from the baseline” Bertens said via wtatennis.com.
Bertens will now turn her attentions to the French Open, where she goes into her first round match with Angelique Kerber in fine form.
“I will fly to Paris in the morning. My family is here so for sure we will celebrate tonight!”