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Garcia Coming Of Age

Caroline Garcia is beginning to prove that the first impression she made on Andy Murray and the rest of the tennis world was an accurate one.

Published May 20, 2014 12:13

Garcia Coming Of Age
Caroline Garcia

Since being earmarked as a future No.1 by Andy Murray after running Maria Sharapova close at the French Open in 2011, Caroline Garcia's ascension up the tennis ranks has been far from plain sailing.

Despite her undoubted gifts, the Frenchwoman struggled to deal with the weight of expectation over the following years, which were spent, for the most part, hovering outside the Top 100. Recently, though, there have been signs of real progress.

In April, she picked up a first WTA title (in Bogotá), before following this up with a first live Fed Cup rubber win (against Sloane Stephens) and then a first Premier Mandatory quarterfinal (in Madrid). Her reward for all these successes was one more first: a Top 50 debut.

Now she heads for her home major, eager to prove that the first impression she made three years ago was an accurate one.

"I'm, of course, very happy with the last few months," Garcia said. "It's always good to get into the Top 50 for the first time and now I need to see if I can keep going.

"For French players it's always exciting to go to Roland Garros, so it's good to be playing well going into the tournament. Hopefully I can show my best tennis. We'll see how I get on!"

While her victory in Bogotá was impressive, the 20-year-old drew most satisfaction from her run in Madrid, where, having negotiated qualifying, she upset Angelique Kerber and Sara Errani before coming up just short in a mini-classic against World No.3 Agnieszka Radwanska.

"It was an amazing tournament for me," she said. "It was the first time I'd played a quarterfinal in this kind of tournament, so I'm very happy about what I did and also the matches I played, because some were very tight and I just gave everything I had, played my game and always believed.

"It proved that I can do it and that I have the keys in myself to win against these players. It gives me confidence in my game and shows all the work I did paid off. Now I know that I have to continue playing in this way."

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