Caroline Garcia has won more matches than any other player on tour since June, and now she has another WTA 1000 title to show for her current form.
France’s Garcia defeated Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-4 in the Western & Southern Open final Sunday, winning her third title of the year and a 10th Hologic WTA Tour singles title overall.
The World No.35 Garcia took 1 hour and 42 minutes to top 28th-ranked Kvitova, becoming the first qualifier to win a WTA 1000 title since the tier was created in 2009.
The champion speaks: "Pure joy, I think," Garcia said in her post-match press conference. "Just happiness. Every single win is very important. Every title is very special, [WTA] 250, 1000, it's always very hard to describe it. It's not happening so often, and you have to really enjoy it. I'm really grateful for this great week of tennis, and to win another title, it's very special.
"Every match, every day was a new day, new challenge. Every time I had to be focused on myself, on my game, what can I do, how I can be more aggressive, how can I improve. Just one day at a time I ended up here today in the final and now lifting the trophy.
"The [WTA] 1000, everything goes so fast. You have to refocus every morning. It's a tough challenge, but I'm really happy the way we made it through."
Stellar summer: Garcia’s ranking fell as low as No.79 this year, but since Roland Garros, no one has been hotter on the circuit. The former World No.4 has won 27 main-draw matches since June, leading all players during that timeframe.
It is an incredible return to the winner’s circle at WTA 1000 events for Garcia, who won the first two WTA 1000 titles of her career in back-to-back weeks at Wuhan and Beijing in 2017.
With 33 match-wins on the year in total, only Iga Swiatek (50), Simona Halep (39) and Ons Jabeur (38) have more victories this season than Garcia.
Stat corner: Garcia has become the ace leader for the season, surpassing Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina. Garcia added 11 aces in Sunday's final to increase her total for the year to 286.
The big-serving power game especially paid dividends for Garcia when down break point. The Frenchwoman saved all eight of the break points she faced in the championship match, as she extended her excellent win-loss record in WTA singles finals to 10-3.
Key moments: Garcia leaped to a 4-0 lead in the opener en route to the one-set lead. Both players had more winners than unforced errors in the first set, but Garcia went 2-for-3 on break points while Kvitova was 0-for-4.
Garcia grabbed an immediate break in the second set before Kvitova took a medical time-out for her leg at 2-0. Kvitova regrouped and nearly pulled back on serve with a 0-40 lead at 3-2, but powerful serving by Garcia helped her stave off that peril and maintain her break lead.
Two aces at 5-4 brought Garcia to double championship point, and she converted her first opportunity after another solid serve forced a short Kvitova return.
"We know [Kvitova is] a big hitter, trying to move you as soon as she can and putting pressure on the return," Garcia said. "So the plan was definitely to not let her do that, which is not always easy, but that was the plan."