France’s Caroline Garcia won her first singles title in 3 years at the Bad Homburg Open presented by Engel & Voelkers, after coming back from a set and a break down to beat Canada’s Bianca Andreescu, 6-7(5) 6-4 6-4, in a thrilling final in front of a packed crowd on Saturday.
It was a fight [for] every point, from the first to the last one. Caroline Garcia
Andreescu, who was favoured to win, was looking for her first title since beating Serena Williams for the US Open crown in 2019, before injuries forced her to miss the entire 2020 season, but Garcia claimed her first trophy since winning on the Nottingham grass in 2019.
The Canadian was playing in her 6th career showpiece, following a 6-month hiatus to look after her mental health that had followed a string of injuries over recent years, and enjoyed a stand-out week at the WTA 250 event in Germany.
She did not drop a set en route to the final, but defeating the battling Garcia, who had saved a match point before taking out fellow Frenchwoman Alizé Cornet in the semi-finals, proved a step too far.
The Frenchwoman also came from a set down in her opening round win against Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
Andreescu had not lost a set en route to the final, knocking off 7th seed and Roland Garros semi-finalist Martina Trevisan from Italy in the 1st-round, and taking out top-seeded Daria Kasatkina in the quarter-finals.
She also received a walk-over from No 4 seed Simona Halep in the semi-finals, after the former World No 1 withdrew with a neck injury.
In the final, the Canadian snatched the first set tiebreak after a very tight first set, and led 4-2 in the second, but Garcia battled back to improve her impressive career record in finals to 8-3.
Garcia took a medical timeout for what seemed to be a shoulder problem early in the second set and went down 2-4 before before winning 10 of the next 14 games to seal the match ahead of the start of Wimbledon on Monday.
Andreescu was also a break up in the final set but Garcia, who broke 5 times tin the match, prevailed in 2 hours and 42 minutes.
In the match’s final game, Garcia held serve from 0-30 down to close out the 6-7(5) 6-4 6-4 win, striking a crunching forehand winner at 30-30 to earn championship point.
She dropped to the ground in celebration when Andreescu’s final ball floated long to end the 2 hour, 42-minute battle.
“It was a fight [for] every point, from the first to the last one,” Garcia said on court afterwards.
Having arrived in Bad Homburg ranked 75, Garcia will return to the Top 60 with her victory.
Rallying to win her 8th career Hologic WTA Tour singles title in impressive fashion, Garcia now owns 3 grass-court singles titles, having previously triumphed in Mallorca in 2016 and Nottingham in 2019.
She also partnered with fellow Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic to win their 2nd Roland Garros doubles title earlier this month.
Both women now turn their attention to Wimbledon, where unseeded Garcia, a former World No 4, will play her 1st-round match against British wild-card Yuriko Miyazaki on Monday, while Andreescu, who has been ranked as high as 4 and currently is No 56, opens against American qualifier Emina Bektas on Tuesday.
While two unseeded players squared off for the singles title, the top two seeds played for the doubles crown, with No 1 seeds Eri Hozumi & Makoto Ninomiya from Japan capturing their 3rd title of the season by beating 2nd seeds Alicija Rosolska & Erin Routliffe, from Poland and New Zealand respectively, in a match tiebreak, 6-4 6-7(5) [10-5].
The top seeds were taken to a match tiebreak in each of their 4 wins over the course of the week, and all 3 of their title-winning finals this year were won in a deciding set, saving a match point in both their first round and semi-final victories.