Third seed and WTA rising star Caroline Garcia ended her 2015 season with a title at the Engie Open de Limoges, defeating American Louisa Chirico 6-1, 6-3 in the final.
A wildcard into the $125,000 WTA-sanctioned event in the French city of Limoges, Garcia survived a trio of three set matches that could have gone either way, before winning the second biggest title of her career in straight sets.
“I'm really happy with this victory,” Garcia said after the final. “I had some difficult moments today, but it was an incredible final and the fan support was amazing. It’s never easy playing a final. It’s been an incredible week for me. I’ve lived through a lot of emotions here.”
The 21-year-old has had to endure numerous struggles with consistency and injuries since winning her maiden WTA title in the Colombian city of Bogota, which have included struggles with the pressure of playing in front of her home crowds. In her debut on Court Philippe Chatrier at the French Open in 2011, Garcia led Maria Sharapova 6-3, 4-1 in front of a nearly packed stadium, before crumbling and losing the next eleven games of the match to lose 6-3, 4-6, 0-6. Three years later, the Frenchwoman would find herself on the same court but against a fellow WTA rising star in Donna Vekic. After going up a set and a break, the 21-year-old collapsed once more, eventually losing to Vekic in three sets. After the match, a tearful Garcia said she was incapable of playing tennis in France, and that she asked to play on a smaller court, but was put on Court Philippe Chatrier anyway. As one might expect, this was a big win for the Frenchwoman. “It’s actually a relief to win here in France, and at a tournament I really appreciate. I'm really happy to finish with the title here.”
With this win, Garcia will end the season as the world number 34, but her year-end ranking will be one spot lower because the rankings were set last Monday. As for Louisa Chirico, the American has had a great tournament, where she defeated fourth seed Annika Beck and 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone, before falling to Garcia. She will rise eleven spots in the rankings to reach a career high of world number 109.
In the doubles final, second seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Mandy Minella came back from the brink of elimination, defeating top seeds Margarita Gasparyan and Oksana Kalashnikova 1-6, 7-5, 10-6 to claim their first title as a team.
Next week marks the final week of the 2015 WTA season, with the last two $125,000 events in Taipei and Carlsbad rounding off an arduous season.