This Girl is On Fire

By Richard Pagliaro | Sunday, August 21, 2022

Another scorching serve from Caroline Garcia blurred by Petra Kvitova and bounded off the back wall.

Contesting her 40th career final, Kvitova kept searching for answers, but couldn’t find a fire escape.

More: Garcia Captures 10th Career Title

The 28-year-old Garcia fired 11 aces and saved all eight break points she faced defeating Kvitova 6-2, 6-4 in the Cincinnati final for her 10th career title.

It was Garcia’s WTA-best 27th win since June 1st.

Kvitova summed up the two-time Roland Garros doubles champion’s torrid tear simply.

“There was a song, ‘The Girl is on Fire,’ right?” Kvitova said in reference to the Alicia Keys song. “I was, like, This is the best description of her…

“I think she is kind of the player who can beat everybody, but also, when she doesn’t have the health confidence and, you know, playing the best because she is playing very risky, I know it from my side actually, as well, she can lose as well with some other players, which normally she could beat.

“Yeah, it’s my own experience. I think that when she is on, she is on. We saw it whole tournament this week. Really, it’s tough. I think she even is moving very well. I was passing my backhand crosscourt, and she was always there with the forehand slice.”

Garcia reaped rewards for repeated riske this week. The WTA ace leader continuously attacked her serve digging out of a crucial love-40 deficit to hold for a 4-2 second-set lead.

Throughout the tournament, Garcia’s aggressive return position, several feet inside the baseline, recalled the young Marion Bartoli repeatedly ripping returns on the rise.

Two-time Wimbledon winner Kvitova said Garcia’s predatory posture reduced reaction time.

“It was difficult to put winners actually when she’s standing by the baseline,” Kvitova said. “Of course sometimes she doesn’t have the time, but normally she’s pushing it because she’s taking from the bounce all of the time. So the opponent didn’t have time at all for anything, especially from the rhythm as well.

“I think that when she has a great day and playing beautifully, she can win a tournament like here.”

Photo credit: Western & Southern Open Facebook