WTA Miami: Peng Shuai strolls to upset over Caroline Garcia in straight sets

WTA Miami: Peng Shuai strolls to upset over Caroline Garcia in straight sets

Peng Shuai's excellent 2017 continues at the Miami Open as she upset Caroline Garcia in straight sets to progress to the third round, inflicting a bagel to her higher-ranked opponent in the process.

don-han
Don Han

The second round of the Miami Open saw Caroline Garcia fall victim to who could be the most dangerous unseeded player in the draw, Peng Shuai, in straight sets and was outclassed after managing to win just four games in the process.

Peng steals the first set

Peng had the best start to the match possible, breaking serve in the opening game of the match as she took the early advantage. However, with some aggressive returns of Peng’s serve, Garcia managed to make an immediate reply as she broke straight back to love and leveled the match. There was a third consecutive break of service as both players looked really excellent on the return, with Peng breaking serve for the second time in a row to regain the lead. The Chinese’s woes in her service games continued to drag her down as she failed to win a point on her serve once again, allowing Garcia to win her eighth straight point on the return as the Frenchwoman returned level once again.

Caroline Garcia was impressive on the return in the early stages | Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images North America
Caroline Garcia was impressive on the return in the early stages | Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images North America

The first hold of service finally came our way as Garcia found her first serves just in time and came up with some good follow-up shots to hold her serve and take a 3-2 lead in the set. After a couple of service holds which followed, the next breakthrough came in the ninth game as Peng relied on her solid groundstrokes and good defensive skills, breaking serve for the third time in the match to open up a 5-4 lead and have the golden opportunity to serve out the first set. The Chinese then strolled to winning the first set as she comfortably held her serve to love, sealing up the first set with a 6-4 scoreline after just 41 minutes.

Peng Shuai has been playing her best tennis recently | Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images North America
Peng Shuai has been playing her best tennis recently | Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images North America

Peng whitewashes Garcia

Peng’s momentum was carried over to the second set as she started the set perfectly, with Garcia losing her focus as her unforced errors cost her greatly. Peng broke serve in the opening game of the set and opened up a huge lead of a set and a break. A tough service game then saw the Chinese consolidate the break to lead 2-0 in the set, looking poised for a straight sets victory. Garcia’s troubles continued as she failed to convert a game point before she fell victim to Peng’s solid play after her serve was broken for the third consecutive time in the match.

Caroline Garcia was ineffective at the crucial points in the second set | Photo: Tom Dulat/Getty Images Europe
Caroline Garcia was ineffective at the crucial points in the second set | Photo: Tom Dulat/Getty Images Europe

The only game in the set that did not go to deuce was the fourth game when Peng comfortably held her serve to 15 and consolidated that break of serve, not allowing Garcia to find any way back into the match. The longest game of the match followed after Peng continued to stroll through the second set, capitalizing on her fourth break point opportunity and saving a game point in the process to place herself just one game away from the victory. Despite putting up a tough resistance by saving three match points and coming from 0-40 down to deuce, Garcia’s efforts proved to be in vain as Peng eventually held her serve narrowly to clinch the victory easily within just 76 minutes, progressing to the third round.

Peng Shuai was solid in her game throughout the match | Photo: Harry How/Getty Images North America
Peng Shuai was solid in her game throughout the match | Photo: Harry How/Getty Images North America

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