It took a 10-point shootout, but French fifth seed Caroline Garcia finally overcame Leylah Fernandez in three sets to reach the Wimbledon third round in early evening sunshine on Thursday.
Having dropped the opening set 6-3, in which Fernandez slammed 10 clean winners, the Frenchwoman – her right racket-arm and shoulder strapped heavily – level with a 6-4 second set before doing just enough to edge the championship tiebreak in a decider during which neither player was able to break serve.
Canada’s Fernandez, displaying glimpses of the form which took her to that surreal 2021 US Open final which she lost to Britain’s Emma Raducanu, played with poise and power from the back of the court, and caused Garcia problems throughout.
Garcia, who skipped across the court pumping her fist and beaming a huge smile in victory, will next face Czech Marie Bouzkova who sent Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit into retirement from professional tennis with a 6-1, 6-2 victory.
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