Caroline Garcia produced a year-end title for France nearly three decades after Amelie Mauresmo in 2005, defeating Aryna Sabalenka 7-6(4), 6-4 to win the WTA Finals.
The performance in Texas capped a comeback year for the 29-year-old Garcia, who won all four finals she played this season.
“It’s definitely a lot of giant happiness,” the winner said. “A crazy final, a lot of intensity on every point.
“I’m just really proud of the work we did throughout the year. It was a great match — really went for it. I’m really happy to win my biggest title.”
Garcia took an hour and three-quarters to claim victory, with 10 of her 11 aces coming in the opening set; the error-prone Sabalenka managed two costly double-faults in the tiebreaker.
“I just dropped my level for a little bit,” Sabalenka said. “On the tiebreak and the first game of the second set. That’s it.
“I did my best, she played unbelievable tennis.”
Garcia’s career comeback story included a rise to the ranking Top 10 in 2017, a fall from the elite a year later and her recent fightback in Fort Worth.
“I’m really happy about the mindset, staying really calm at every moment,” she said. “All the negative emotion doesn’t affect me.
“It was about taking the few opportunities I had in the tiebreaker and breaking her to start the second set.”
Garcia now stands fourth in the world entering the 2023 season, equaling her career best..