To mark the end of an incredible 2017 season, we're counting down the Top 5 WTA matches of the year:
No.1 is Caroline Garcia’s titanic, three-set victory over Elina Svitolina in the quarterfinals of the China Open.
Read more: Top 5 WTA 2017 Matches
Unseeded Caroline Garcia needed over three hours and three titanic sets, but the Frenchwoman saved match point to defeat No.3 seed Elina Svitolina 6-7(5), 7-5, 7-6(6) in the China Open quarterfinals.
The mammoth comeback victory kept the Wuhan champion’s Beijing campaign - and her chance to qualify for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global - alive.
Pushed to the brink in three hours, 21 minutes, Garcia twice broke the No.3 seed as she served for the match late in the decider, and saved a match point with a fearless backhand winner down the line in the decisive tiebreak.
At the close of the match, Garcia's 60 winners kept her afloat in the match alongside 67 unforced errors, while Svitolina tallied 31 winners to 42 unforced. She also proved more effective on her break point opportunities, winning 10 of 16 she created, while the Ukrainian converted on nine of 21 chances.
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) 6 de octubre de 2017
WHAT THEY SAID:
"Even if it was difficult physically from the beginning to the end, I enjoyed every minute I spent out there on the court," Garcia told WTA Insider after the match. "It was such a fight, but I was feeling the ball well in my racquet. I wasn't moving perfectly, but I was really enjoying every minute, even if it was difficult.
“Until the end, I tried every hard and never gave up. The head and the mind is always stronger than the body. [The last two weeks] definitely gave me confidence, for sure. I just keep trying to keep playing the same way."
— WTA (@WTA) 6 de octubre de 2017
WHAT IT MEANS:
Fresh off the biggest title of her career in Wuhan, Caroline Garcia was suddenly thrust into Singapore contention - winning the title in Beijing would see the Frenchwoman leap past Great Britain's Johanna Konta into the eighth and final qualifying position.
Riding a wave of confidence, Garcia went on to clinch the title - taking down newly-minted World No.1 Simona Halep in the final - and qualify for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global for the first time in singles. She won her group with another roller coaster victory over Svitolina and against eventual champion Caroline Wozniacki, but the Frenchwoman's fairytale finally ended in the semifinals after a heartbreaking three set defeat to Venus Williams.
Still, Garcia’s Asian swing renaissance marked the best stretch of her career to date, and she ended the 2017 season ranked WTA World No.8, her career-highest ranking.