TIANJIN, China — Second-seeded Caroline Garcia won her first tournament of the year with a 7-6 (7), 6-3 win over top-seeded Karolina Pliskova in the Tianjin Open on Sunday.
It was the 16th-ranked Garcia’s first title since she won back-to-back trophies at the Wuhan and Beijing tournaments in Asia just over a year ago.
The Frenchwoman’s two titles at the end of last season earned her a spot into the year-end WTA Finals in Singapore. This year, the victory in Tianjin is not enough to put Garcia into a second consecutive year-end final appearance.
Pliskova’s failure to take the title also kept her from confirming a berth in the WTA Finals.
Currently in eighth place in the race to Singapore, the Czech will have to wait out the results from next week’s tournaments in Luxembourg and Moscow to see if she qualifies for one of the three remaining spots. Pliskova is scheduled to play in Moscow.
American Sloane Stephens, Ukrainian Elena Svitolina and Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens are the other remaining contenders for Singapore.
Garcia was down 1-5 in the first set tiebreaker before she rebounded. She saved a set point for Pliskova at 5-6 to go on to win the hour-long first set.
In the second set, Garcia raced to a 5-0 lead, and first served for the match at 5-1, but had to wait for her victory to come three games later. She secured the title with her sixth ace of the match.
PARIS — A thrilling five-set victory took a toll on Gael Monfils, whose withdrawal from the French Open handed No. 6 Holger Rune a walkover to the third round.
The 36-year-old Frenchman said he has a strained left wrist and can’t continue.
He battled Sebastian Baez for nearly four hours on Court Philippe Chatrier before beating the Argentine 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 in a first-round match that ended at 12:18 a.m. local time.
The victory was Monfils’ first at tour level this year, as the veteran was coming back from heel surgery.
“Actually, physically, I’m quite fine. But I had the problem with my wrist that I cannot solve,” he said. “The doctor say was not good to play with that type of injury. Yesterday was actually very risky, and then today definitely say I should stop.”
Monfils reached the semifinals at the French Open in 2008 and made it to the quarterfinals on three other occasions.
PARIS — Swedish tennis player Mikael Ymer was docked about $40,000 after being disqualified for smashing his racket against the umpire’s chair at a tournament the week before he competed at the French Open.
An ATP Tour spokesman said Ymer forfeited about $10,500 in prize money and 20 rankings he earned for reaching the second round of the Lyon Open. Ymer also was handed an on-site fine of about $29,000.
The spokesman said the ATP Fines Committee will conduct a review of what happened to determine whether any additional penalties are warranted.
The 56th-ranked Ymer, who is 24 and owns a victory over current No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, was defaulted in Lyon for an outburst late in the first set against French teenager Arthur Fils last week.
Ymer was upset that the chair umpire would not check a ball mark after a shot by Fils landed near a line. As the players went to the sideline for the ensuing changeover, Ymer smacked the base of the umpire’s stand with his racket twice – destroying his equipment and damaging the chair.
That led to Ymer’s disqualification, making Fils the winner of the match.
After his 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 loss to 17th-seeded Lorenzo Musetti in the first round at Roland Garros, Ymer was asked whether he wanted to explain why he reacted the way he did in Lyon.
“With all due respect, I think it’s pretty clear from the video what caused it and why I reacted the way I reacted. Not justifying it at all, of course,” Ymer replied. “But for me to sit here and to explain? I think it’s pretty clear what led me to that place. I think that’s pretty clear in the video.”