Caroline Garcia completed her preparations for the French Open in style, outplaying Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in the final of the Internationaux de Strasbourg on Saturday.
WTA Staff

STRASBOURG, France - Caroline Garcia completed her French Open preparations in style on Saturday, outplaying qualifier Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in the final of the Internationaux de Strasbourg.

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Twenty-four hours on from her marathon victory over Virginie Razzano, Garcia looked fresh as a daisy, the nerves so often accompanying French players on home soil conspicuous by their absence.

In her opening service game she was taken to deuce, fending of the threat courtesy of a couple of well-placed serves. Any lingering anxieties were completely removed the next game, a blistering forehand return winner helping her to the break. As the winners continued to flow, and Lucic-Baroni searched in vain for the form that had accounted for Kristina Mladenovic the previous round, Garcia quickly stretched this lead to 5-1.

With the set seemingly a lost cause, Lucic-Baroni's game belatedly clicked into gear as she reduced her arrears to 5-4. However, Garcia recomposed herself to close out the set before dominating the second to wrap up a 6-4, 6-1 victory.

"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.

For Lucic-Baroni, who lost at the same stage of the tournament 19 years ago, it was a match 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.

"People have been asking me to sign pictures from 1999 - it's like another life. But it makes me proud to have been able to come back and be at the same stage 19 years later."

Garcia's victory extends her perfect record with Lucic-Baroni, against whom she has now dropped just one set in four career meetings: "I have a good record against Lucic-Baroni and the match today was a lot more difficult than it looked. She joked in the presentation about beating me soon - she's a great player and someone I look up to."

Next stop for Garcia, whose only previous WTA title came two years ago in Bogotá, is Paris for her home major, Roland Garros, where she hopes to once again harness the energy of her compatriots.

"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."

In the doubles final, top seeds Anabel Medina Garrigues and Arantxa Parra Santonja proved far too strong for María Irigoyen and Liang Chen, running out 6-2, 6-0 winners to lift a fourth title together and boost their Olympic qualification hopes.

The result was of particular significance to former singles champion Medina Garrigues, who is contemplating retiring at the end of the year: "All the victories are special. But this is important. With Roland Garros next week and we need points for Rio also, so it's 280 points.

"Having won three times in singles it's special for me here. It might be my last year playing tennis so coming back to Strasbourg was special. At the moment I'm 50-50 whether I will carry on next year. I will see how I feel physically and decide."