Thirteen days after the end of her superb US Open, where she had reached the last four, thus signing her return to the world top 10, Caroline Garcia reappeared in competition on Wednesday, at the WTA 500 tournament in Tokyo, and she lost her first match, against China’s Zhang Shuai (4-6, 7-6 7-6  in 2h30).
We left her on a disappointing semi-final against the Tunisian Ons Jabeur at Flushing Meadows (6-1, 6-3), almost two weeks ago, but it is Caroline Garcia at the start of the US Open, the one that swept all its opponents in New York, including Coco Gauff, in the quarterfinals (6-3, 6-4), who attacked her first match in Tokyo.
With seven aces in her first three service games, the world No. 10, very offensive, quite significantly dominated the first act against Zhang Shuai, 28th WTA, breaking from the start and having no break point herself. to discard (6-4). But the scenario was reversed in the second set, where it was quickly led 3-0 then 5-2. Garcia dismissed a set point at 5-4, missed two break points at 5-5 and then lost a tie-break in which she had led 3-1 (7 points to 5).
Impeccable again on her commitment in the third set, since she lost only one point in her six service games, the Lyonnaise obtained a match point at 5-4, on the Chinese serve, but she put her back in the net. In the decisive tie-break, despite a new ace to start, Garcia could not capitalize behind his formidable launching pad, which earned him to beat his record for ace in a single match: 27! Huge, but insufficient.
A last forehand that escapes in width and here she is prevented from joining the quarter-finals in Japan and thus garnering 100 points in the classification which would have been precious to consolidate her position in the race for the WTA Masters at the end of the season, which will compete in Texas and for which she currently occupies 5th place.
In the quarter-finals on Friday, Zhangh Shuai will face the winner of the match between Czech Karoline Pliskova and Croatian Petra Martic.