NEW YORK, NY, USA - Fresh off qualifying for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic recovered from an early deficit to defeat World No.1 Sania Mirza and new partner Barbora Strycova, 7-6(3), 6-1, and reach the semifinals of the US Open.
The French duo and Roland Garros winners became the second team to qualify for the WTA Finals this morning after then-Co-No.1s Mirza and Martina Hingis, who announced their split earlier this summer. Mirza held onto the top spot by defeating Hingis and new partner CoCo Vandeweghe in the final of the Western & Southern Open; she and Strycova appeared on course for a similarly impressive win over Garcia and Mladenovic when they raced out to a 5-2 first set lead.
But the top seeds wouldn't be denied, saving two set points at 5-3 and going on to win 11 of the final 13 games of the match on Grandstand to reach their second major semifinal of the season.
"We're obviously very excited to go back to Singapore for the second year in a row, and this time with my countrywoman and teammate," Mladenovic told WTA Insider in a forthcoming interview for the WTA Insider Podcast. "It's a nice story that we qualified together after being with different partners last year. It was one of our main goal this year when we joined forces.
"It's such a privilege to qualify because only the best of the best get to go."
Garcia and Mladenovic could play the other half of the team formerly known as Santina, as the last quarterfinal yet to be played is between No.6 seeded Hingis and Vandeweghe and rising Czech stars Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, who ended Hingis and Mirza's hopes of a Non-Calendar Year Grand Slam back at the French Open.
"I think when we spoke about playing together this year, we felt it was a good moment because individually we were good doubles players," Garcia said. "We were in Singapore last year, so that means we're ok! When we started the year and made the final in Sydney, it was good for our confidence for our first week playing together. We didn't win right away, but we were still working on our timing and things got better and better."
Joining the Frenchwomen in the semifinals were No.5 seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, who won a 13th straight match by taking out No.13 seeds and Slovenians Andreja Klepac and Katarina Srebotnik in straight sets, and No.12 seeds Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova; last year's Australian and French Open winners ended the miracle run of American wildcards Asia Muhammad and Taylor Townsend, 6-1, 6-2.