Sixth-seeded Frenchwomen Caroline Garcia powered her way to a second title of 2016 with a convincing 6-3, 6-4 win over Latvian Anastasija Sevastova. Garcia, who took out third seed Ana Ivanovic earlier in the week, needed only an hour and 17 minutes to claim the inaugural Mallorca Open title on the pristine grass courts of the Santa Ponsa Tennis Club.
Garcia edges Sevastova in roller-coaster opening set
Garcia began the match quite poorly, losing her serve in the first game to go down an early break. The Frenchwomen responded well, though, capitalizing on three break points the following game to snatch the break back for 1-all. The six seed then consolidated her break for 2-1, before taking another of Sevastova's service games for 3-1. The Latvian responded quickly, breaking the world number 39's serve immediately, followed by a long, protracted service game where she fought off four break points to eventually level the set at 3 games a piece.
After getting her energy back following a lengthy, four-deuce game, Garcia got her serve working, holding to love to go in front 4-3. The Frenchwomen gained her third break of the match off of Sevastova to give herself the chance to serve out the opening set. The sixth seed wasted no time, taking the opening set routinely six games to three.
One break enough for Garcia to take Mallorca title
Sevastova, who was hospitalised the week before due to a stomach virus, began the second set with a hold to love before three more routine holds succeeded it to bring it to 2-all. The 39th ranked Garcia then upped her return game again, taking her fourth break point of the game to seal a one break lead. The pair then exchanged holds for 4-3 before Garcia held to love to force her less-experienced Latvian opponent to serve to stay in the match.
The world number 82 held her nerve, holding to keep herself in the match and force Garcia to serve out the title. The sixth seed made no mistake, taking the title on her first time of asking to etch her name as the first Mallorca Open winner and claim her second trophy of 2016 after victory in Strasbourg only a month ago.
Garcia behind the numbers
As in most grass court matches, the serve was the key today for Garcia. The French sixth seed hit four aces with zero double faults compared to no aces and three double faults from Sevastova. While Garcia may have only made 53 percent of first serves, the 22-year-old rising star made the most of her first deliveries, winning an impressive 74 percent and first serve points and an equally as important 67 percent on second serve.
On the return, the world ranked 39 won a solid 47 percent of first serve return points and 37 percent when returning second serves. Perhaps the biggest are of concern for Garcia going into Wimbledon is her break point conversion, where she struggled today. The WTA rising star converted only 33 percent of break chances, breaking four times on 12 opportunities. Despite struggling on the return some in the second set, two titles in the past four tournaments should give the Frenchwomen some confidence going into the third major of the season at the All England Club.