WTA Tour

Under-pressure Garcia says 'can do better' next year

Caroline Garcia (AP)
Caroline Garcia (AP)

Zhuhai - Caroline Garcia has revealed she feels under pressure to bring a grand slam trophy back to France, and believes she "can do better" after a difficult season.

Although the 22-year-old spent almost the whole year in the top 10, she slipped down the rankings in October and struggled to kick on from 2017 when she won the Wuhan and China Opens.

Asked if she feels a weight of expectation from her home country, the world number 18 told AFP: "There are always these kind of things and it's been like this for a long time.

"There's already some pressure, because they always want you to win."

Garcia won the doubles tournament at Roland Garros in 2016, and said the singles grand slam in Paris is the one she feels most pressure to win.

"They always want you to win the French Open, and obviously it's something I want to do, but it's not as easy as saying 'hello' to someone," she said.

Her best grand slam singles performance so far was reaching the last eight on the clay at Roland Garros in 2017, and she said it is a "great challenge" to go deeper into the tournament.

"I think I can do better, and it's something I wanted to improve this year. I couldn't do it but maybe next year."

The last French woman to win a grand slam title was Marion Bartoli, the Wimbledon champion in 2013, and before that it was Amelie Mauresmo's 2013 Australian Open and Wimbledon double.

Garcia, whose season highlight was winning the Tianjin Open in October, said although her country expects her do well, the French players on the women's tour don't have to deal with as much pressure as the men.

"Actually, my shoulders are probably way lighter than the men's, because they haven't won in 30 years, so I'm kind of glad Marion won five years ago."

Garcia finished her year with a win at the ETA Elite Trophy in China, but it wasn't enough to book her a place in the semi-finals.

It has been a "complicated season", she said after the match, explaining that she struggled with the extra pressures of being in the top 10, particularly mentally.

"There were a lot of ups and downs - not a lot of ups, obviously."

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England 92/4 (28 ov)
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