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Caroline Garcia, recent semi-finalist of the US Open, was eliminated on Wednesday as soon as she entered the Tokyo Pan Pacific Open tournament, beaten in three sets by China’s Zhang Shuai 4-6, 7-6 (7/5 ), 7-6 (7/5).
Seeded N.2 in this WTA 500 tournament, the Frenchwoman, 10th in the world, approached this meeting with full confidence after her victory in August in Cincinnati (WTA 1000) then her semi-final at the US Open in September.
But, after winning the first set, she finally lost to world No. 28 Zhang, despite having 27 aces and a match point in the second set. Zhang sealed his victory in this paying meeting for the second round of the tournament by winning the tie-break of the third set by the same score as that of the second, 7-5.
“I didn’t play my best tennis but I really tried and kept fighting,” said Caroline Garcia after the match. “She raised her level at the end and it was played on a few points here and there,” she added.
Caroline Garcia is currently in 5th place in the ATP Race ranking, which takes into account points over the course of the year and not compared to the previous year as the WTA ranking does. She can therefore still hope to compete in the WTA Finals (End of Year Masters) which brings together the first eight players of the ATP Race and will take place in Fort Worth, Texas (United States), from October 31 to November 7.
The day was also fatal for the No. 1 seed and fourth player in the world, the Spaniard Paula Badosa, dryly beaten 6-3, 6-2 by the Chinese Zheng Qinwen.
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