Bad Homburg | Garcia to meet Andreescu in final

Simona Halep’s Wimbledon hopes suffered a blow on Friday when she withdrew from the semi-finals of the Bad Homburg Open presented by Engel Voeklers with a neck injury, sending Bianca Andreescu into the final where the Canadian will meet Caroline Garcia, a 7-6(9) 3-6 7-5 winner over Alizé Cornet.

I am sorry I had to withdraw today from the semi-final match. But unfortunately I woke up this morning with a blocked neck and this is not allowing me to perform to the best of my abilities. Simona Halep

“I am sorry I had to withdraw today from the semi-final match,” Halep, the 4th seed here, posted on Twitter. “But unfortunately I woke up this morning with a blocked neck and this is not allowing me to perform to the best of my abilities.”

The hope is that Halep’s withdrawal is precautionary ahead of her 1st-round match against Czech Karolina Muchova at Wimbledon next week.

Garcia was made to battle hard and long against her fellow Frenchwoman and 9th-seeded Cornet in hee semi-final, surviving 2 set points in the first set tiebreak and then fighting off a match point in the 10th game of the nerve-wracking deciding set.

After losing the opening breaker, Cornet took the second and held a match point at 5-4 up in the third with Garcia serving, but the 28-year-old held onto to her serve before breaking Cornet in the next game and then serving out to continue her bid for a first title on the WTA tour.

Her 2-hour, 45-minute win over Cornet puts Garcia into her 11th career final.

The title match will be a first-time encounter with the unseeded Andreescu, who has reached her sixth career final, and first off hard courts.

Simona Halep suffered a neck injury and had to pull out ahead of her semi-final with Bianca Andreescu at Bad Homburg

© Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty Images

Garcia had not reached a Hologic WTA Tour final since Nottingham 2019 and although she had led the head-to-head against Cornet 3-2 before the match, Cornet had won both times they had played since 2017.

This was their first meeting on grass, though, as well as the deepest into a tournament they had faced each other.

No 75-ranked Garcia has converted both of her previous grass-court finals into titles, having previously lifted the trophy at Mallorca 2016 and Nottingham 2019, while her overall record in WTA finals is 7-3.

A serve-dominated contest saw just 5 breaks of serve in total, 2 for Cornet as she eased away to the second set and then, after a break each at the start of the decider, the decisive one for Garcia in the penultimate game of the match.

Indeed, neither player even faced a break point in a supremely tight opener, which was fittingly decided by an overtime tiebreak.

Garcia’s commitment to coming forward proved crucial as the 28-year-old saved one of two set points she faced with a neat forehand volley, then sealed her 4th set point with another.

The second set saw Cornet up her aggression to capture the first service break of the day for 4-3, part of a run of 5 games that saw her gain the upper hand over an error-strewn Garcia.

Similarly, Cornet took 4 out of 5 games in the third set as she turned a 3-1 deficit into a 5-4 lead, but in that game, Garcia staved off a match point with a solid one-two punch, then immediately captured the Cornet serve for 6-5 with a fizzing forehand return winner.

The former World No 4 managed to serve out the match in style, sealing her first match point by nailing a backhand winner down the line.

2019 US Open champion and former World No 5 Andreescu is playing her 6th tournament of the season following a 6-month hiatus to look after her mental health, and had already notched some significant numbers.

This week marked the first time in the Canadian’s career that she has won consecutive main-draw matches on grass, and her quarter-final upset of No 1 seed Daria Kasatkina was her third Top 20 win of 2022.

Saturday’s final will be No 64-ranked Andreescu’s first since Miami 2021, where she was forced to retire against Ash Barty.

Andreescu’s last title was her breakout US Open victory in 2019, when she beat Serena Williams.

Bianca Andreescu reached her first final since Miami 2021 when Simona Halep gave her a walkover Friday

© Julian Finney/Getty Images



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