Maria Sharapova couldn’t get it together ay the Rogers Cup Thursday night. The lack of offence allowed Caroline Garcia to run the match in a straight sets win 6-3, 6-2 on Court Central at IGA Stadium. It was the sixth seed's second time in a row defeating the Russian superstar in a powerful show of strength that gave her another well-deserved win on the court.
The French star got one against the Russian earlier this season on the clay courts of Stuttgart. While they weren’t returning to that service, the challenge remained there for the Russian who has played on hard courts against Garcia since 2014. She swept through her first two matches in Canada with the hope of getting a third despite the added difficulty standing in front of her. With the need for consistency, the 31-year-old eyed her way to get a fifth keeping the 24-year-old at bay.
She took the first two games getting her forehand into gear to hold serve firmly followed by breaking Garcia. A break back for the French star had her in play that soon led to a service hold in the fourth. Having sized up one another with their tactics, they each returned to holding serve to stay levelled through six.
As they reached deeper into the net, Garcia became the player able to hold her stride as she broke Sharapova to take off with the lead and never turn back. Winning the next two games, the 24-year-old captured set point producing a winner that gave her the set after 39 minutes. The French star recorded seven winners total and had 8 of 13 points won on the first serve that gave her the edge over the Russian superstar.
She started the second set keeping the pace of the previous one keeping the situation difficult for Sharapova. After taking another lead after the third, Garcia tried to gain a break early but found herself in a stalemate with the Russian on deuce. It was there that they spanned several breaks that sent the game into 11 minutes before Sharapova held serve. Though the effort was heavy from her side of the court, the 31-year-old still trailed as Garcia blasted out another hold setting the bar for her opponent to trip on.
The break for her came in the sixth where she got the edge on Sharapova dictating the final rally to lay down a shot that the Russian couldn’t get to. Despite having moments where she had the chance to win an easy point and missed, the world number six collected another service hold to stand 5-2 on Sharapova hoping to earn another break for herself. Sharapova assisted in her quest making too many errors in the eighth game that handed Garcia three match points. The Russian saved one but double-faulted to clinch the victory for the sixth seed in 1 hour and 28 minutes.
Her objective of holding together a well-rounded offence came to fruition finishing with 70 per cent success on the first serve and 65 on the second. Sharapova had eight double faults when it was all and was the major point of her demise. While she'll try to remedy that with two weeks till the final major, Garcia would await her opponent between world number one Simona Halep and former world number one Venus Williams on Friday.