Caroline Garcia had the best season of her career in 2022. She reached a maiden Grand Slam semifinal at the US Open, claimed a third WTA 1000 crown in Cincinnati, and won the biggest title of her career at the WTA Finals. Did 2023 bring similar success for the Frenchwoman? This article provides the highs and lows of Garcia’s 2023 season.
Caroline Garcia 2023 Season Review
Garcia reached two finals in 2023. The first came at the WTA 250 event on home soil in Lyon in February. She was the No. 1 seed at the tournament and progressed relatively comfortably to the final. The 30-year-old was the favourite in the final, but suffered a surprising defeat to Alycia Parks, who claimed a maiden WTA title with a 7-6 7-5 triumph. The second final was also a WTA 250 event in Monterrey in March. Garcia did not drop a set on her way to the final in Mexico, which included a semifinal victory against Elise Mertens. But the 11-time WTA title winner lost a very tight final to Donna Vekic 4-6 6-3 5-7.
Garcia’s best Grand Slam result came at the Australian Open. She equaled her best showing in Melbourne by reaching the fourth round. 2021 US Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez was one of the three opponents the Frenchwoman beat, but Magda Linette ended her hopes of a quarterfinal appearance.
Garcia’s best results at the WTA 1000 level were at the end of the season. Her semifinal run in Guadalajara included an impressive showing against 2020 US Open runner-up Victoria Azarenka before falling to eventual champion Maria Sakkari. The former WTA Finals champion also progressed to the quarterfinal in Beijing, losing to 2023’s French Open champion Iga Swiatek 7-6 6-7 1-6.
Garcia’s results were enough to qualify for the WTA Elite trophy. She beat Madison Keys in her opening group stage match. However, Garcia’s hopes of reaching the semifinal were ended by Beatriz Haddad Maia.
Garcia’s season did not come close to reaching the levels of 2022. After her semifinal run at the 2022 US Open, the 16-time WTA finalist fell in the first round to Wang Yafan. Her North American hardcourt season was difficult, with four first-round defeats in six tournaments. She notched just three victories. Garcia also suffered a very disappointing second-round French Open loss against Anna Blinkova. Her Russian opponent prevailed 4-6 6-3 7-5, with very vocal home support not enough to get the Frenchwoman over the line.
Although reaching any final is a laudable achievement, Garcia will have major regrets from the Lyon final in particular. Parks is a dangerous player, as she later proved at the US Open in 2023. However, Garcia was still an overwhelming favourite on home soil and missed a golden opportunity to win a 12th WTA title. Two runner-up placings are far short of the four titles she won in 2022. The Frenchwoman will also be frustrated that she did not give herself a chance to defend her WTA Finals crown due to not qualifying.
Overall, 2023 fell considerably short of Garcia’s achievements in 2022. However, replicating a career-best season was never going to be easy. She still remains inside the Top 20, and her form improved towards the end of the season. Garcia will hope to build on that momentum in 2024.
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