Déjà vu strikes again in Beijing as Sara Errani and Caroline Garcia will meet for the second time in a week. The pair played out a gruelling match in Wuhan with Garcia eventually prevailing, 6-7(4) 6-4 6-2 in a first round clash that lasted two hours and 32 minutes. Garcia hit a whopping 80 winners to 68 unforced errors. The Frenchwoman followed that win up with another mentally testing loss to CoCo Vandeweghe, 6-3 6-7(4) 7-6(6). After coming back from a set and a break down, Garcia served for the match in the third set and had two match points in the third set tiebreak.
Garcia’s year has been wild; it all started quite promisingly up to Indian Wells where she was winning a lot of matches and beating players ranked below her, week in, week out. Since Madrid when she was on the brink of a big win of Maria Sharapova, it’s all gone a bit pearshaped. When Garcia has managed to put a good showing together, she has often been unable to back it up. On Sunday, Garcia scored one of her best wins in a long, long time by defeating Saisai Zheng, 6-2 6-2 in one hour and 26 minutes. It was all the more impressive as Zheng had won their two previous encounters in straight sets. However, i’m still wary with Garcia that she could throw in a shocker in the next round as is the nature with her ultra-aggressive game. There have been signs that she’s calmed down a bit on return where earlier in the year she was standing so far inside the baseline.
Errani enjoyed one of the best wins of her year, earning a first ever victory over Petra Kvitova in a lengthy straight sets win, 7-5 6-4, in two hours and eight minutes. Errani benefitted from making it a physical match with Kvitova running out of steam and more often that not, failing to hit the ball in the court. Kvitova was 4/17 on break point conversions and was constantly playing catch-up with Errani giving away very little throughout the match.
It will be a similar kind of match for Errani with balls flying past her, some in and some out! Garcia knows what she has to do and has a first round win to build on. I still think it could be a struggle, particularly if Errani delivers another solid display like she did against Kvitova. Garcia already has three victories over Errani and i’d fancy her to get another one on Tuesday.
Prediction: Garcia d. Errani in 3 sets