Garcia bends but doesn't break in Qatar
2/14/2018 1:45:49 AM EST
A loss in the second set put the pressure on Caroline Garcia in her matchup with Dominika Cibulkova at the Qatar Total Open on Tuesday, but the No. 7-seeded Frenchwoman responded with a 6-0 third set to advance to the third round of the tournament.
In all, Garcia beat Cibulkova 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-0 in just over two hours.
"To lose the second set was very tough, so I started the third set a bit down," Garcia said in her postmatch interview. "But she gave me free points and I just realized I needed to be more aggressive. I put more pressure on her and so I'm just happy that the third set went this fast."
Garcia got off to a quick start against Cibulkova, earning the first break for a 3-1 lead. The Slovakian battled back to 3-3, but Garcia responded to take the set, winning the last eight points in a row.
Garcia led again in the second set, but Cibulkova wouldn't go quietly, forcing a tiebreaker that she eventually won after Garcia fell short on coming all the way back from a 4-0 deficit.
The third set was all Garcia, as she allowed just four points in the decisive set and took advantage of a number of unforced errors by Cibulkova.
Garcia struck 12 aces and 45 winners, while Cibulkova had 17 winners and 25 unforced errors. Garcia will face either No.11 Kristina Mladenovic of France or Russian qualifier Anna Blinkova in the next round.
Also needing three sets to advance Tuesday was No. 15 seed Elise Mertens (Belgium), who beat Hungary's Timea Babos 2-6, 6-1, 6-1. The rest of the tournament's seeded players to take the court Tuesday -- Spain's Garbine Muguruza (No. 4 seed), Germany's Julia Goerges (9), Brit Johanna Konta (10), Mladenovic (11), American Madison Keys (12), Latvian Anastasija Sevastova (13), Slovak Magdalena Rybarikova (14) and Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova (16) -- won in straight sets.
Among the highlights from those matches, Goerges won 100 percent of the points off her first serve and didn't face a single break point in her first set against Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic in winning 6-1, 7-5, and Kvitova bested Turkey's Cagla Buyukakcay 6-0, 6-3 for her eighth straight win.
Kvitova contributed a pair of singles wins for the Czech Republic over the weekend's Fed Cup in Prague.
"I've gotten some sleep, just a little bit," Kvitova said after her match. "I'm happy to be here; it was definitely a tough schedule for me, but getting an eighth win is something really nice for me. It's been super really long since I've had such a good run. I'm just trying to continue with that."
The tournament's top three seeds will be in action Wednesday, as Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki (No. 1) faces Germany's Carina Witthoeft, Romania's Simona Halep (2) takes on Russia's Ekaterina Makarova and Ukraine's Elina Svitolina (3) matches up with Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic.
--Field Level Media