This fortnight has been remarkable for France’s Caroline Garcia, as the 23-year-old became the first player to win back-to-back titles at Wuhan and Beijing, resulting in a Top 10 WTA rankings debut at No.9. The spectacular triumphs at high-profile tournaments, crowned with yesterday’s victory over then-future-now-world-number-one Simona Halep, make this the perfect occasion for me to add Garcia to my Little Tennis Stars series.
Garcia played several sports as a child, but then decided to stick to tennis, her favorite. Her first professional match came when she was 13 years old at an ITF event in France in 2007. In juniors, her biggest successes include the girls’ singles runner‐up finish at the 2011 US Open and semifinal finishes at the other three Grand Slams events.
Prior to this spectacular Asian Swing, during which she won her fourth and fifth WTA singles titles, Garcia’s best tennis memories included champion’s trophies at Limoges, Strasbourg, and the 2016 Roland Garros doubles triumph with Kristina Mladenovic (Garcia finished the 2016 season ranked No.2 in doubles).
The second photo shows little Caroline with her father Louis Paul Garcia, who is also her coach and whom we’ve seen a lot during her recent title runs in China. Above is their hug after Caroline’s Beijing win yesterday.
Caroline has already arrived to the Tianjin Open, but even though she showed up smiling at the pre-tournament press conference, she had to withdraw from the event, avoiding the match-up with Maria Sharapova, who is now scheduled to play Irina-Camelia Begu in the first round.