Caroline Garcia experienced the first scare of her Australian Open this Saturday. Faced with Laura Siegemund, 35, in the third round, the Lyon native found herself down 6-1 before hanging on, fighting back and finally toppling the German 1-6, 6-3, 6-3. Clearly, Garcia didn’t play a great match on Saturday. But her mental strength made the difference and that’s probably where the milestone was reached. Sure of her strength, “Caro” made the German doubt and finally behaved like a boss. Despite 37 unforced errors, the Frenchwoman is in the round of 16 of the Australian Open and will have a great chance to play against Ekaterina Alexandrova or Magda Linette. This is only the second time the Frenchwoman has reached the second week in Australia.
“I was worried (laughs) and I think in my box, they were worried too!”, admitted Caroline Garcia in a press conference after her success. “I wasn’t playing very well, I wasn’t lucid, I was starting to talk to myself. It wasn’t like that that I was going to get there. If I got my composure back, my qualities could annoy him, but I had to get that composure and lucidity back. Last year, there were a lot of games with complicated scenarios. I tried to remember that we were at the Australian Open and that even if I didn’t play well, I would try to find solutions to win the match. Point by point, I found two, three pitfalls here and there. It’s not the way I like to play but sometimes you can’t do anything else.”
“At the US Open, I felt more serene. Right now, it’s been a little more complicated. It wasn’t the match where you feel your game is in place, that you play relaxed. But that doesn’t mean you can’t continue to progress and play better and better. It’s good to be able to pass when you’re having a bad day. The girl in front of you is playing her game, it’s up to you to find the solutions. It’s good to qualify in these conditions too.” Next opponent: Magda Linette. “She is a solid player, very aggressive, who has been at this level for a while. She is capable of beating good players. I’m going to have to get my game together, be aggressive and play with confidence.”
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