WTA Insider David Kane | Fresh off her first win in Zhuhai, Caroline Garcia laughed through a harrowing experience that kept her grounded at the Doha airport for 14 hours earlier this year.
WTA Staff

ZHUHAI, China - You wouldn't expect a player with a motto like #FlyWithCaro to have any issues achieving lift-off. Caroline Garcia found out the hard way that this wasn't always the case.

"I once spent 14 hours in the Doha airport, sitting on a chair," she told WTA Insider Thursday night after knocking out Samantha Stosur in straight sets. "It wasn't funny at all!"

The French star filed the incident as her biggest "I can't believe that happened" moment of 2016, an otherwise seamless season in singles and doubles. It all started earlier this year, as she prepared to board a flight from the Qatari capital.

"I went out of the airport, and couldn't get back in again. I couldn't go back through security and customs, so I was stuck for 14 hours, sitting on a chair. I had no money, no credit card, or anything!

"It was just a nightmare; I missed my flight, obviously. I had to buy another ticket, which was complicated, because I had no credit card. I'm laughing about it now, but I was really upset at the time! I was all by myself, so it wasn't funny at all."

Garcia looks back on the incident as just another war story in the life of a globetrotting professional athlete.

"I think after it happened, it's like a story you've lived to tell. It's a good memory, but obviously I've had better," she added, referring to her emotional win at the French Open with compatriot Kristina Mladenovic, plus her two singles titles in Strasbourg and Mallorca.

"The year always goes so fast. I was thinking about how I started the year in Perth; it felt like just a couple of months ago, but it was in January and now it's November.

"There are always things you end up forgetting throughout the year. But when someone comments on something specific, all the memories come flooding back, and it's nice to relive them."

Garcia takes on top seed Johanna Konta on Friday, with the winner advancing into the semifinals of the Huajin Securities WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai