No.21 seed Caroline Garcia outlasts top-ranked Brit Johanna Konta to advance into the fourth round at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in a three set thriller.
WTA Staff

INDIAN WELLS, CA, USA - No.21 seed Caroline Garcia recovered from a set down to survive No.11 seed Johanna Konta, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(1), to reach the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open for the second time in three years.

"Maybe it's the haircut!" she joked with WTA Insider. "Sometimes small things make a big difference on the court. I tried to forget what happened outside of tennis and just focus on myself, what I could improve. I feel more energized and better on the court; it's great to have this mentality again."

Konta enjoyed a bright start to the season with a second WTA title at the Apia International Sydney and a run to the Australian Open quarterfinals, but a nerve issue in her left foot forced her to sit out the Middle East Swing following a successful week at Fed Cup.

"I don't believe I played a great match today," Konta said after the match. "She did what she had to do to get through that, and she did a better job of finding a way than I did. I would have liked to have played better, but it just didn't happen today.

"There were a number of shots that let me down today; quite honestly, I don't know why, but I'm keen on improving and doing better next time."

Playing her first WTA event since Melbourne, Konta took the opening set in decisive style against Garcia, who hadn't won back-to-back matches since January, but the tide began to turn in the middle of the second.

"The last time I played against her in China, she played unbelievably; it was just unreal," Garcia said. "I knew I had to play a good match, and that if I got any opportunities, I would have to be ready to take them. That's what I managed to do in the second set when I broke her; in the tie-break, I was more aggressive and more consistent."

Garcia earned the only break of that set to level the match, and served out some sticky situations by match's end to force a tie-break, which she took with ease after a two hour and 11 minute tussle.

"I didn't do enough with the opportunities that I did get," Konta said. "Some of the break points, she served well, and others, I wasn't brave enough. I don't think I did enough to really take them. I was a little too passive in parts."

In a high quality match, both players hit just 15 unforced errors each, with Garcia leading the winner count 28 to 23 - despite 12 aces from the big-serving Brit.

"This win means a lot because the beginning of the year hasn't been easy," she said. "Konta is a difficult player, and she's been pretty solid most of the year. This match was a bit weird, some ups and downs and not too many rallies. I'm happy with the way I kept my focus to the end; even if I played a bad return, I stayed positive and finished with a great tie-break.

"I think it was more of a mental match because physically, I wasn't even tired - there were no rallies! I was just working on moving from one point to another. Mentally, it wasn't easy to keep the intensity. In the end, I brought what I did well in the match, and I returned better. I just had to win that tie-break, and I'll keep the last point."

Not too far from a career-high ranking of No.23, Garcia next plays No.8 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, who dug out a three set win over No.26 seed Roberta Vinci, 6-2, 2-6, 6-1.

"I expect longer rallies than today, for sure!" Garcia said. "She's a great player with a lot of experience. She'll enjoy these conditions with the bouncy court. I'll have to put as much pressure as I can, not let her dictate with the forehand.

"You can learn a lot from a match like this because she has a very tactical game. I'll try to be more aggressive."