To date, only two Frenchmen have won the US Open: musketeers René Lacoste (1926, 1927) and Henri Cochet (1928), in a time not even Michel Drucker knew about. No Tricolore has yet signed this feat, while the last Grand Slam victory of one of our representatives dates back to Marion Bartoli’s success at Wimbledon 2013. Suffice it to say that the rest of this article may seem a bit cheeky, especially when we remember that Last year, no Frenchman had made it past the third round in New York…
And yet, Caroline Garcia will advance from next Monday with a beautiful “favorite-outsider” sign on her back, after her fiery summer, crowned with her victory at the WTA 1000 in Cincinnati on Sunday. Here are the (non-contractual) reasons to believe in the now 17th-ranked man in the world, guaranteed to be top-seeded at the US Open.
Because she is the best player of the moment.
When the 28-year-old Lyonnaise won the grass-court tournament in Bad Homburg, Germany, in late June, the former world No. 4 ended a three-year drought. Since then, the one who was only ranked 79th in the WTA ranking before her resurrection, is simply unstoppable. She has accumulated 26 tour victories since June – more than any other player – and has won the tournaments in Warsaw, on clay, and, above all, therefore, the one in Cincinnati on hard courts.
In Ohio, “Caro” became the first woman to win a WTA 1,000 (the level just below the Grand Slam) after qualifying, having experienced a delicate comeback on this surface that is also the US Open (loss to Alizé Cornet to enter Toronto).
There is a song called the girl is on fire, That’s it ? Petra Kvitova fell, victim of the French in the final. That’s the best way to describe it. It is even rumored that Alicia Keys is preparing a special version of girl on fire (the exact title) in case of victory of the Lyonnaise in New York.
Because the hierarchy is still vague.
Iga Swiatek was thought to be picking up the torch left behind by Ashleigh Barty following the Australian’s surprise retirement in March, while Serena Williams has long been a shadow of her former self and of Naomi’s level. Osaka remains a mystery. However, the Pole with 37 wins in a row at the beginning of the year, an impressive winner of Roland-Garros, has been in trouble for a few weeks.
In Cincinnati, he doubled suckers in the round of 16 against Madison Keys. Previously, she had been defeated at home in Warsaw, and on clay please, by the infallible Caro García, who also beat three Top 10 residents in ‘Cincy’: Sakkari (3rd), Pegula (8th) and Sabalenka (7th). ) . If we also look at the top of the hierarchy, no girl gives great guarantees of reliability, starting with Kontaveit, the not particularly flashy runner-up from Swiatek.
Like Badosa (5th), the Pole complained about the balls used at the US Open, calling them “horrible” and “very difficult to control”. He does not smell of great serenity.
because he has style
Caroline García has always opted for the offensive solution. But this high-stakes style requires confidence and a rock-solid physique, for a cinder block to end up on the court (or in a rush down the line) rather than the outside. However, this has not been the case for a long time for the Frenchwoman, suffering from various injuries. “I feel much better physically, in better health,” she dropped the summer hit after her success over Kvitova on Sunday.
“Everything is clearer in my head,” he added, although he acknowledges that it has sometimes been difficult for him to ignore the criticism that accompanied the results at half-staff. “We have clearly defined the way I have to play and the direction I have to take. When I walk on the court, I know what style of game I have to practice. »
Since the end of last year, the Lyonnaise, long managed by her father, has been coached by Bertrand Perret, who had previously notably umpired with Paul-Henri Mathieu and Tunisian Ons Jabeur. She is also accompanied by her physical trainer Laura Legoupil. Very hard, “Boom Boom” Caro hits just as hard, especially on serve. In 2022, he has already hit 286 aces. A record, once again.
because he has experience
“I’ve had high tides and low tides like you, like you, like you. We don’t know if Caroline Garcia likes Patrick Bruel but these few words from the heady Great Men’s Square it suits you perfectly. From an early age, he had to carry great expectations, accentuated even more by Andy Murray’s famous tweet, who predicted him in 2011 (he was 17 years old) the place of number 1 in the world, after what we still call an “encouraging” . she defeats “against Maria Sharapova at Roland-Garros.
We thought her time had come in 2017, when she won the WTA 1000 in Wuhan and Beijing, before reaching the Masters semi-finals in Singapore. And then the shipwreck… But García can still exhibit a record and experience that many teammates envy him, with his 29 successes on the singles circuit, the 2019 Fed Cup and his two Roland-Garros in doubles with Kiki Mladenovic, the last Last spring. “The road was not straight”, “raffarine” the Lyonnaise, who will (already) turn 29 on October 16. It’s time to make the right turn at Grand Slam, where she never did better than in the quarter-finals, at Roland-Garros, in 2017.
Because everything is possible in New York
Granted, Garcia has never been able to get past the third round at the US Open in 11 singles appearances. Yes, she lost her flag in the second match last year against Kazakh Elena Rybakina, who has since won Wimbledon. And so ? The women’s circuit has known the era of possibilities for several years.
Last year, after Czech Barbora Krejcikova was unexpectedly crowned at Roland, little-known Englishwoman Emma Raducanu came out of qualifying to win all her matches in straight sets, including the final against Canadian Leylah Fernandez, another surprise wild card. A feat never before seen in a Grand Slam, therefore reproduced last week by Garcia, in WTA 1,000.
The extravagant style of the Frenchwoman has everything to conquer the warm New York public. What if, despite all the strong arguments in this article, the magic doesn’t work? Well, it won’t be so bad after all. “I’m going to lose games, that’s obvious, but I can recover if I give myself 100%, if my attitude was good,” “Caro” prophesied after his success in Cincinnati. But hey, if the inevitable defeat that was coming could wait a few more weeks.
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