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Getting To Know... Caroline Garcia

Forget storming the Bastille, this young Frenchwoman threatens to march her way to the top of world tennis.

Published July 14, 2011 03:20

Getting To Know... Caroline Garcia
Caroline Garcia

Caroline Garcia almost caused the upset of the French Open when, as a wildcard ranked No.188, she led Maria Sharapova by a set and 4-1 in the second round. While victory was not to be, few were left with any doubts as to the 17-year-old's prospects. Andy Murray even tweeted that, as far as he was concerned, she was headed for No.1.

We caught up with Caroline at the AEGON Classic in Birmingham.

Tell us about your family.
CG:
I'm an only child. My parents' names are Paul Louis and Mary Lene; they own a real estate agency, although my father travels with me most of the time.

How did you get into tennis?
CG:
I started when I was five years old. My parents played socially. I played tennis, basketball and other sports but I preferred tennis - I was better at it! So I started playing tournaments in my region and then Europe and now I am playing tournaments on the WTA and Grand Slams.

What are the strengths of your game?
CG:
My forehand and serve.

If you could steal a hot from another player, what would it be?
CG:
The mentality of Nadal.

Did you have a tennis idol when you were growing up?
CG:
No, not really.

You hail from Saint-Germain-en-Laye - the same town as Amélie Mauresmo. Do you think that could be a good omen for your career?
CG:
Yeah, maybe! If I could have a career like hers' I'd be very happy.

What's your coaching situation at the moment?
CG:
Since March this year I've been coached by Frederic Fontag. We're working on lots of small things.

Looking back, how do you feel about your match with Sharapova?
CG:
Just after the match I was a little disappointed, because I was 4-1 up in the second set. But I'm happy that I was able to go on the court and start like it was just a normal match. So I think I can take a lot of experience from this. Next time, when I have to finish off a big match like that, it's probably going to be different outcome. 

Was it hard to then go back and play the junior event?
CG:
It wasn't as difficult as it might have been. Maybe if I had to go and play a 10K event it would have been different, but Grand Slam juniors are very important, so I just focused on my game and the tournament.

How do you feel about grass as a surface? Do you have much experience of it?
CG:
I've played one match last year, in the Wimbledon juniors. It's different to clay, of course. You have to play your own game: don't think a lot, just play. [Ed.'s note: Garcia has since reached the semis of junior Wimbledon].

Best tennis memory to date?
CG:
For me, all of this year has been a very good memory. From winning my first WTA main draw match at the Australian Open, to playing on the Philippe Chatrier court at Roland Garros for the first time. All victories are difficult, so every win brings a great feeling.

What do you like to do off court, to relax?
CG:
In tennis you are not always with your family, so I like to spend time with them, just eat meals with them, pass time with them. I also like to read and go to the cinema.

How far did you go in your education?
CG:
I'm still finishing high school by correspondence.

Favorite subject?
CG:
I like English.

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would you say?
CG:
That's difficult. Unique.

What quality do you most admire in other people?
CG:
I admire people who work hard.

What's your ideal holiday?
CG:
Somewhere where there is a lot of sun and it is calm.

If you were stuck on a desert island and allowed one luxury, what would you have with you?
CG:
Something like an iPad...

What non-tennis skill would you like to have?
CG:
I'd like to be able to act.

What sort of goals have you set, in terms of tennis?
CG:
My goal for this year is to be Top 100, and my dream is to be No.1 and win a Grand Slam title… hopefully not just one!


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