"I questioned the universe, told myself that my luck has passed, that I would never succeed again" - Caroline Garcia opens up about her remarkable comeback season

2022 WTA Finals - Day 8
Caroline Garcia smiles amid a rain of confetti during the WTA Finals trophy ceremony earlier this month.

Caroline Garcia started the year with a 7-8 record and a nagging foot injury. She ended it with the WTA Finals trophy.

Garcia, a first-time winner of the year-end championship, reflected on her recently concluded season that was marked by both tears and smiles, learning so much about herself along the way.

The World No. 4 bared her heart in a lengthy message she posted on Twitter, saying that in a year where she rose 70 spots in the rankings through a resurgence midway, she had to first deal with doubts and questions on whether time had run out for her.

"Several times, I was invaded by doubts, let myself be overwhelmed by the negative. I questioned the universe, told myself that maybe my luck has passed, that I would never succeed again," said Caroline Garcia.
"I've had sleepless nights, binge eating, cried in my hotel room, cried on tennis courts, [have] been on crutches, swore, relearned to walk, struggled to find shoes. I suffered physically and mentally," she added.

While the foot injury that sidelined her for two months caused her a lot of distress, she turned it into a positive as she rediscovered her desire to return to action and play her real game – offensive tennis.

Garcia retired mid-match against Anna Bondar in the first round in Miami last March, returning to action at Roland Garros where she picked up the doubles title alongside compatriot Kristina Mladenovic. She was unstoppable from there.

"The injury allowed me to play more liberated. I learned to let go, accept my mistakes, the unexpected, to delegate, to trust myself, to follow my instincts," said Caroline Garcia.

Garcia had to take it day by day, simplifying her goals to fashion out her most successful season yet where she went 4-for-4 in finals, raising a trophy on all three surfaces. She was the only player to win on grass (Bad Homburg), clay (Warsaw) and hard courts (Cincinnati, WTA Finals) this year.

She also reached her maiden Major semifinal at the US Open.

"By building day by day, by staying positive, by having confidence, with simple goals in mind: to be healthy, do my best day by day, live in the present moment and play my game to the fullest, I ended up [living] the best season of my career!" said Caroline Garcia.

Among Caroline Garcia's post-season realizations: "I can eat a pizza from time to time"

Caroline Garcia holds her WTA Finals trophy.
Caroline Garcia holds her WTA Finals trophy.

Being very candid in her post-season message, Garcia shared that relaxation and enjoyment were also vital parts of her learning this year.

That included eating pizza and enjoying good food.

"That I can eat a pizza from time to time, it was not going to change the result of the next day. If I was dying to eat one, that was good, too," said Caroline Garcia.
"I learned that on days off, taking my mind off things was also part of training and preparing for a match. I invited friends to tournaments," she added.

The 29-year-old also made time for her other passions – cooking and baking. She also read a lot as she made time for herself.

As for the upcoming season, it is full of promise since Garcia feels that she can improve further.

"What I know is the desire I feel to experience these emotions again. I have a feeling that I can still improve my game so much," said Caroline Garcia.

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Edited by Nihal Taraporvala
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