Garcia Cruises, Bogdan reaches the first final in Warsaw


Caroline Garcia and Ana Bogdan beat the rain and their opponents on Saturday, earning semi-final victories in straight sets to face off for the title at the BNP Paribas Poland Open.

France’s Garcia, seeded No. 5, beat Italian Jasmine Paolini, seeded No. 10, 6-1, 6-2 to reach her 12th career final. Garcia took just 65 minutes to make it 3-0 against Paolini.

Garcia backed up her stunning upset of world No. 1 Iga Swiatek from the previous round as she continues her run of stellar form this summer. Garcia has now won 17 of his last 20 matches, including a title run from Bad Homburg and a knockout round at Wimbledon.

“It’s been a tough week, especially today, with the big win yesterday, only a few hours to recover and be ready,” Garcia said afterwards. “The conditions were very difficult, a lot of rain. I’m just very happy with the way I played, and I stayed very focused on the present, and it paid off.”

Under a lingering drizzle that grew much heavier as the match drew to a close, 45th-ranked Garcia beat world No. 58 Paolini winning 80% of her first-serve points and 60% of her first-return points .

Former world number 4 Garcia also fired six aces that day. Garcia has up to 236 aces for the year, and she won this season’s aces leader from reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina.

Garcia threatened to end the game in less than an hour, holding the match point triple at 6-1, 5-1. However, Paolini came from 0-40 down in that game to extend matters as the rain increased. In the next game, however, Garcia converted his fifth match point to complete the win.

Garcia, who is 8-3 in his previous singles finals, will now face Bogdan in the championship match. Garcia beat Bogdan in their only previous meeting, which was in the second round of Wimbledon five years ago.

Bogdan of Romania has already posted a career-best result this week, making his first singles final on the Hologic WTA Tour. Bogdan beat lucky loser Kateryna Baindl of Ukraine 7-5, 7-5 in Saturday’s first semifinal to achieve the feat.

World No. 108 Bogdan was pushed over two hours for the first time this week by Baindl, but the Romanian has yet to drop a set in the tournament. Bogdan won exactly two-thirds of the points on Baindl’s second serve to win a tour-level semifinal for the first time on his fifth attempt.

“I can say that I handled my emotions pretty well today,” Bogdan said. “I just wanted to play free, but it was a bit tough. Tactically I was pretty well prepared in my head, I just had to stay focused on every point and tell myself I could do it.”

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