HUA HIN, Thailand -- American qualifier Jennifer Brady picked up the second Top 20 win of her career by stunning No.2 seed Caroline Garcia of France, 6-4, 7-6(3), in the opening round of the Toyota Thailand Open presented by E@ on Tuesday.
"I’m really happy with my performance," Brady said, during her on-court post-match interview. "She got the early break in both sets, but I was focused on what I wanted to do, focused on the game plan, and I’m really happy."
World No.117 Brady had dropped her two previous meetings with 19th-ranked Garcia in straight sets, but the 23-year-old American emerged victorious for the first time in their head-to-head in Hua Hin following two hours and four minutes of play.
"No matter what the score was, I just kept committing to my game and believing in myself, just really going for my shots," added Brady. "I think the previous times, she was able to dictate and hit a lot more offensive and aggressive shots, and I feel like I did a really good job of staying on top."
The hard-hitting American had an equal number of winners and unforced errors in the match, with 26 of each, while Garcia's 23 winners were overriden by her 31 unforced errors. Brady was particularly strong on her first serve in the match, winning 80 percent of those points.
Former World No.4 Garcia opened the match with a hard-earned break of service, taking the first game on her fourth break chance after Brady double faulted. The Frenchwoman faced a break point in the very next game, but knocked off two straight aces en route to a 2-0 lead.
After that, however, Brady began to take command, most impressively with her heavy forehands. The American won a marathon game of her own, leveling the match at 2-2 after four break points. Then, at 5-4, Garcia let a 40-0 lead on her serve slip, eventually hitting four double faults in the game, including on set point, and allowing Brady to break for the opening set.
The players had 12 break points combined in the second set, and each broke serve twice as they progressed to a tiebreak. Brady claimed the minibreak at 2-1 as her forehand forced an error from Garcia at the end of a grueling rally. The Frenchwoman played well in the rest of the tiebreak, but was unable to win another point on Brady's serve, and the qualifier eased through to victory from there.
In other early first-round results, No.4 seed Zheng Saisai of China outlasted Luxembourg's Mandy Minella, 6-7(8), 6-4, 6-4. Zheng let two set points fall by the wayside in the opening-set tiebreak, but eked out the final two sets to prevail in two hours and 46 minutes.
Zheng's compatriot, qualifier Duan Yingying, continued a good day for China, as she upset No.7 seed Pauline Parmentier of France, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4. Also, Slovenia's Tamara Zidansek advanced past Timea Babos when the Hungarian retired with the Slovene leading 6-0, 3-1. Zidansek will face Brady in the second round.