Garcia takes flight with new mindset

 - Simon Cambers

French No.5 seed is 'very happy' with her current approach

Caroline Garcia, Roland-Garros 2023, first round© Nicolas Gouhier/FFT

There have been many times in her career when Caroline Garcia has been guilty of excessive self-criticism, to the point where it hurt her game.

Tipped for the top from teenage days, the Frenchwoman has had to deal with enormous expectations, especially at her home Grand Slam event.

But in the past 12 months, Garcia has worked hard on her mindset and after beating Wang Xiyu in the first-round at Roland-Garros on Monday, it seems to be working well. She now faces world No.56 Anna Blinkova.

“It was a big first round,” the No.5 seed said, following her 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-4 victory. “It was just a question of a few points here and there. She has lots of things she does well. She has a good game that's very aggressive. I had to keep calm and seize the very few opportunities that I had.

“I'm very happy, very happy about my attitude. I was calm. I was positive. This was something I wasn't really good at in the recent past.”

A new way of thinking

Garcia, who won the season-ending WTA Finals in 2022, fed off the energy of the crowd on Court Philippe-Chatrier as she held her nerve in the final set to take her place in the second round.

“Since I have arrived here in Paris, in Roland-Garros, I have received a lot of positive energy, lots of support from the crowd, which means a lot of energy for me," she said. "I try and take all of this energy. It's a great opportunity. It's a chance that I'm given.”


Wang put Garcia under enormous pressure during the match with the power of her groundstrokes but the world No.5 stayed calm throughout. Coping with the tough situations was key and she said she was most proud of her attitude.

Caroline Garcia, 1er tour, Roland-Garros 2023©Nicolas Gouhier / FFT

“My mindset…was positive,” she said. “Well, the opponent was a girl who has played a good match, so I had to accept the fact that she would have winners and aces. The conditions were not that easy. But I was always ready to seize these opportunities that I would have during the match.

“I think I didn't really serve that well, not many first serves. Yet I managed to get through. I missed some of the first serves, but it didn't have a negative impact on me. That's a good point.”

Super supporters

With world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz in action at the same time on Court Suzanne-Lenglen and another Frenchman, Arthur Fils, playing on Court Simonne-Mathieu, the fans at Roland-Garros were spoilt for choice.

But No.5 seed Garcia said said she was not concerned about how many people stayed to watch the entirety of her match, she was simply happy with the boost they gave her.

“I didn’t count the number of people on the court,” she said. “But I thought that the crowd reacted rather well, I thought. When the moments were important and in some cases, at some moments, when I asked for their support, the support from the crowd, well, that's all I can say, nothing else.


“At the beginning of the tournament, and that's true for all Grand Slams, sometimes the smaller courts, the show courts have more crowd, as they call it, and others don't have tickets and they want to go on Court No.14 and support all of the French.

“Sometimes it's different. Sometimes the crowd is a bit different, but I was really massively supported. I thank them for that.”