The Runner Sports

Caroline Garcia Completes The Singles Field For The WTA Finals

World No. 9 Caroline Garcia claimed the eighth and final spot for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore, the women’s season-ending championship. Garcia had a breakout year at the Grand Slams, reaching the quarterfinals at the French Open and the fourth round at Wimbledon, both for the first time in her career. Throughout 2017, Garcia’s play was consistent, getting to four semifinals and two quarterfinals. However, she did not really have the results big enough to make her a contender for the WTA Finals until the Asian swing.

After reaching the third round at the US Open, Garcia played three premier-level tournaments in Tokyo, Wuhan, and Beijing. Garcia’s actual ranking had been hovering around 15-20 heading into the Asian swing, not even giving her an outside chance. That all changed in Wuhan. Garcia made the quarterfinals in Tokyo, and then went on a tear through Wuhan, taking out the likes of world No. 12 Angelique Kerber and then-world No. 9 Dominika Cibulkova along the way. Garcia won a grueling three-set match against another surprise finalist, Ashleigh Barty, to claim the title in Wuhan. Now, people were at least talking about Garcia.

No one had ever pulled off the Wuhan-Beijing double before. Garcia was mainly brought up as an interesting storyline by experts, wondering how far this new-found momentum would take her in Beijing. Well, the momentum from Wuhan propelled Garcia to achieve that feat that no other player had done. Garcia caught a break with a first-round bye thanks to some withdrawals, and used that lack of a match to take out world No .4 Elina Svitolina and then-No. 18 Petra Kvitova before defeating world No. 2 Simona Halep in straight sets for the title. With that win, Garcia then catapulted to just on the cusp of qualifying for the season-ending championship, but was up against Johanna Konta for the final spot.

But just like that, Konta’s unfortunate withdrawal from Moscow next week proved to be the deciding factor for Garcia’s place. Garcia has been to the WTA Finals before, competing in the Rising Stars Invitational in 2015, and last year in the doubles event. Garcia becomes the first Frenchwoman to qualify for the season-ending championship since 2006 when Amelie Mauresmo made it all the way to the finals. Let’s see if Garcia can do one better.

Conrad Ellis

Conrad Ellis

Stevenson University graduate, class of 2016
Played tennis for 14 years and counting, favorite shot is forehand
Conrad Ellis