Caroline Garcia is through to face Sorana Cirstea in the Last-16 of Indian Wells after beating Leylah Fernandez in a tough three-set battle.
It will be Garcia’s first-ever appearance at such an advanced stage of the tournament, and it is due reward for how high her level has been over the past year.
The Frenchwoman was fully tested against Canada’s Fernandez, a fighting competitor who dug deep at various stages of the match to keep pace with her higher-ranked opponent.
The first set went Garcia’s way, but it was a tight affair with the 29-year-old breaking just once – in the third game – and holding her serve thereafter to go into the early lead.
The second set saw just one break point in its entirety, as both players largely matched each other from the baseline.
And so to a tie-break it went, with Fernandez taking a 5-3 lead which ultimately proved insurmountable for Garcia, the Canadian taking it 7-5 – and making her delight known.
But perhaps having used up so much energy to get back into the encounter, the third set was one-sided in Garcia’s favour.
Caroline Garcia of France reacts after defeating Leylah Fernandez of Canada in their third round match at the 2023 WTA Indian Wells Open in Indian Wells, California, on March 13, 2023.
Image credit: Getty Images
Fernandez held her first service game to make it 1-1, but she didn’t win another game from there as her more experienced opponent broke twice to romp to victory.
Garcia will face Sorana Cirstea in the Last-16, after the Romanian got past the 28-year-old American Bernarda Pera.
Cirstea took the first set 6-3 and motored through the second, taking it 6-1 in a show of some fine ball-striking.
Britain’s Emma Raducanu is also on court on Monday at ‘Tennis Paradise’, taking on Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia.
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