She was one of the favorites at the Australian Open. The French Caroline Garcia, 4th in the world, was eliminated in the round of 16 by the Polish Magda Linette (45th) 7-6 (7/3), 6-4, this Monday in Melbourne.
Garcia, who was the last Frenchwoman in the running, had reached the semi-finals at the US Open and won the year-end Masters in Fort Worth, the most beautiful title of her career to date.
But it is Linette, who had never passed the third round in a Grand Slam, who will face the Czech Karolina Pliskova (31st) for a place in the semi-finals. The latter eliminated the Chinese Shuai Zhang (22nd) 6-0, 6-4 in less than an hour.
“I don’t believe it… I don’t understand what happened… I don’t have the words”, admitted Linette who, at 30 (she will be 31 on February 12) had never passed the third round of a Grand Slam tournament before.
What happened was that she took advantage of Garcia’s lack of success, especially on serve, to beat her. And after the premature defeat of her compatriot and world No.1 Iga Swiatek the day before, she will represent Poland in the quarter-finals.
“I can’t take it anymore! »
“The key was my serve because it punished me when I was not effective on my face-off,” said the Polish player, who posted a success rate of 75% of first serve balls.
For his part, Garcia, whose very risky game is very dependent on his own service, succeeded only 49% of the first serves.
The French also conceded 33 unforced errors for 27 winning strokes, against 14 unforced errors and 25 winning strokes for Linette.
Garcia had however started the meeting on a double break which allowed him to come off 3-0. She served for the set at 5-4, but Linette picked up before dominating the tie break.
In the second set, Garcia repeatedly exteriorized his growing frustration by hitting his racquet on the ground or with a “I can’t take it anymore!” yelled from the first game of the inning.
The Pole made the decisive break to lead 5-4 and qualified on her first match point, on her serve.