PARIS, France - Caroline Garcia is back into the third round at Roland Garros for the second year in a row after needing three sets to outlast Peng Shuai, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 after just under two hours.
No.7 seed Garcia had never made it past the second round of French Open in her first six attempts, but last year she stormed into the quarterfinals - her best ever result at a Grand Slam to date. She backed it up emphatically at Beijing and Wuhan later in the season, and now returns to Roland Garros a Top 10 player.
Peng and Garcia had contrasting journeys to reach the second round of Roland Garros; Garcia reached the semifinals of Stuttgart and Madrid, while Peng scored her first tour-level match win of the season in the first round here against Aleksandra Krunic.
The Chinese player had early looks at break points against the Garcia serve, but it was Garcia who grabbed the lone break to edge through in the first set. The pair traded breaks to start the second, with Garcia recovering from a 2-0 deficit, but Peng charged ahead to level the score at a set apiece.
Garcia was under pressure at the start of the third, and was almost down early for the second time, but she managed to dodge Peng and break in the next game. That break would prove decisive, and Garcia held onto the lead for the rest of the match, closing it out after an hour and 54 minutes.
Up next, Garcia awaits the winner between No.27 seed Zhang Shuai and Irina-Camelia Begu in the third round.
More to follow...