MALLORCA, Spain – Caroline Garcia rallied on Tuesday from a set down to earn a hard-fought win over Victoria Azarenka in the Mallorca Open first round.
Garcia, who won the first edition of the tournament on the Spanish island in 2016, needed two hours to extend her good play, having clinched the Nottingham Open title a couple of days ago.
“It was definitely difficult. I arrived only yesterday... so I had to get everything ready and organize myself, and be ready,” the WTA website quoted Garcia as saying after the win.
“For sure, I was feeling tired in the first set, but sometimes, mentally, you are stronger than you think.
“That’s what I tried to do. Keep fighting, and in the third set, I was definitely feeling better.”
Azarenka, currently world number 32, took advantage of the slow start the Frenchwoman struggled with to take a 4-0 lead, two consecutive service breaks included.
Garcia, 25, then held serve for the first time in the fifth game and carved out a chance to break Azarenka’s serve in the following game, but the Belarusian found her way out of trouble.
The two-time Grand Slam champion proceeded to break Garcia’s serve in the seventh game to be a set away from the second round of the WTA tuning up tournament for Wimbledon.
The momentum seemed to be shifting at the beginning of the second set as Garcia managed to take the lead for the first time in the match by breaking Azarenka’s serve in the first game.
Although both players held serve in the following few games, they traded service break halfway through the second set, with Garcia striking first for a 4-1 advantage.
Azarenka then got to win three consecutive games, breaking Garcia’s serve two times in a row to make the score 4-4.
However, Azarenka’s revival was short-lived as she conceded her following delivery and Garcia did not think twice and clinched the set by winning her service game without dropping a point.
Both players then went to a see-saw third set in which Garcia recovered from a breakdown, before dealing a final blow in the 11th game when she broke her opponent’s serve to run away with the win.
Garcia is set to take on Paula Badosa who beat Alison Riske in other action Tuesday.