10sBalls.com • TennisBalls.com

Caroline Garcia Shocks World No. 1 Iga Swiatek in Warsaw

No. 45 Caroline Garcia of France upset world No. 1 Iga Swiatek 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 on the Pole’s home court in Poland for her first win over a reigning world No. 1. (Photo by RvS.Media/Robert Hradil/Getty Images)

Dancing around her backhand, Caroline Garcia drilled a diagonal forehand return that blurred by Iga Swiatek.

Garcia turned match point into exclamation point punctuating a rousing 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 upset of world No. 1 Swiatek in the Poland Open quarterfinals with a piercing scream.

Winless in nine career clashes vs. world No. 1 players, Garcia applied her all-court skills masterfully continuing her torrid summer tear.

It was Garcia’s 16th victory in her last 19 matches sending her into the Warsaw semifinals against Jasmine Paolini, the only other seed still standing. Paolini rallied past 103rd-ranked Swiss Viktorija Golubic 1-6, 6-2, 6-2.

Warsaw rolled out the red carpet for hometown hero Swiatek. Garcia greeted the top seed with a red storm of stinging returns to hand the reigning Roland Garros champion her first clay-court loss of the year. 

Swiatek, who carried an 18-0 clay-court record onto court, suffered her first loss on dirt since succumbing to Maria Sakkari in the 2021 Roland Garros round of 16. Swiatek’s last two losses have come against Frenchwomen. Alize Cornet swept Swiatek 6-4, 6-2 in the Wimbledon third round.

Former world No. 4 Garcia effectively applied the ultra-aggressive return positioning of a young Marion Bartoli ripping returns that sent Swiatek scrambling for replies. Frequently firing returns right down the middle to handcuff the world No. 1, Garcia made Swiatek skittish on second serve. Garcia won 14 of 25 points played on the Swiatek second serve and converted five of 11 break points in a confident two hour, 17-minute victory.

The 45th-ranked Garcia burst out of the blocks to a 4-0 lead before cruising through the opening set. Swiatek answered seizing five consecutive games to snatch the second set and force a final set. 

Staring down a break point in her first game of the decider, Swiatek slammed a backhand pass crosscourt to save it.

Sliding a second serve ace out wide, Swiatek capped a hard-fought hold for 1-all when Garcia sailed a shot long.

Playing with taping wrapping both thighs, Garcia continued to press forward at every opportunity. Stepping into the court repeatedly, Garcia rapped a pair of forehands down opposite sidelines holding for a 3-2 lead in the decider.

Torching heavy returns deep down the middle, Garcia again pressured serve in the sixth game leaving a frustrated Swiatek swiping at the air with her Tecnifibre serve.

Resetting, Swiatek slid her fouth ace out wide capping a tough two-ace hold to level the final set after six games.

Rushing the world No. 1 into a netted error, Garcia gained her third break point of the set in the eighth game.

Backing Swiatek up with the depth of her return, Garcia bolted a forehand winner down the line breaking for 5-3 with a firm “come on!”

Showing jitters, Swiatek badly bungled an easy overhead slapping it into the bottom of the net to open the ninth game. Garcia attacked behind a forehand and blocked a volley winner for 30-0.

A double fault and netted backhand put Swiatek even. A slick swing volley and tremendous backhand volley dig gave the top seed a break point. A twitchy Garcia pasted a backhand into the middle of the net gifting back the break.

On match point, Garcia danced around her backhand and lasered a diagonal forehand return winner capping a tremendous upset of the world No. 1 on her home court with a heart-felt “come on!”

A gritty Garcia improved to 12-4 in three setters this season, while Swiatek dropped to 10-2 in three-set matches this year with her other three-set loss coming to Jelena Ostapenko, 7-6-in-the-third set, in Dubai last February.