Inspired Caroline Garcia goes from Cincinnati qualifier to champion

CAROLINE Garcia capped a long week by beating Petra Kvitova 6-2 6-4 to claim the Cincinnati Open title on Sunday and become the first qualifier to win a WTA Tour 1000 tournament.

After battling through qualifying, Ms. Garcia beat three top-10 world-ranked opponents, Maria Sakkari, Aryna Sabalenka and Jessica Pegula, on the way to the final where she delivered a master class against Czech Ms. Kvitova, the twice Wimbledon champion.

Leading the WTA Tour in aces and second in break points saved, the 28-year-old Frenchwoman relied on her big weapons to clinch her third title of the season, sending down 11 aces and saving all eight break points she faced.

Since coming back from a foot injury in May, Ms. Garcia has won three events on three different surfaces, on clay in Warsaw, where she beat world number one Iga Swiatek, grass in Bad Homburg and hardcourt in Cincinnati.

Under threatening skies Ms. Garcia got out to fast start with a break helped by a pair of double faults by Ms. Kvitova, as the 32-year-old once again struggled with her serve. Ms. Garcia carried on in the second set as she again broke Ms. Kvitova at the first opportunity and held for a quick 2-0 lead when Ms. Kvitova called for a medical time-out. — Reuters