Caroline Garcia has looked back on her double at the Wuhan and China Opens in 2017, when she became the first player to win both titles in the same year.
The Frenchwoman came from behind to overcome Ashleigh Barty in a grueling Wuhan final before jetting to Beijing and claiming a victory over Simona Halep.
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The two victories counted towards her climbing as high as WTA World No.4 the following year, and the Frenchwoman has revealed she left everything out on court over the period of those competitions.
“I played some good tennis over the year and these were the last tournaments of the year. I wanted to do the best I could and to do finish the year and see exactly what I could improve at the end of the year. My mindset was to give everything I had and see where I could improve,” she said in an interview for the My Performance 360 series, presented by SAP.
Looking back on her victory over Barty, which was achieved 6-7(3), 7-6(4), 6-2, she reflected: “I knew I had to go over and above my limits physically and I was very proud to do it. It’s a great memory for me.”
Garcia, who will play Cincinnati this week, then followed up that success with a historic win at the China Open, where she won an epic quarterfinal with Elina Svitolina and set up a showpiece match up with Simona Halep.
“I was definitely the underdog,” she said. “I was playing the brand new No.1 in the world. I couldn’t dream of a better opponent. It was a very good test for me after all these matches.
“When you get a lot of matches and you get a lot of wins, your movement gets better and you hit the ball very cleanly, and in this match that’s exactly what happened. It was what I needed against her. She’s very tough to move. “
Reflecting on the 6-4, 7-6(3) win, she added: “It’s nice to see these highlights. Sometimes when it is positive and you keep going in your right direction, things can help you out.
“Sometimes you have to go through difficult times and you don’t know if the work you do is going to pay off. When I had the trophy in my hands, I thought: ‘Ok, this was definitely worth it. I know why I did all this and why I want more.’”
Check out the video for Garcia’s complete thoughts and also those of her father and coach Louis Paul.