With clarity of thought and renewed trust in an attacking style of play, France’s Caroline Garcia clinched her third title of the season on Sunday at the Cincinnati Open and climbed back to the top-20 of the women’s world rankings.

Garcia, 28, was ranked at a career-high fourth in 2018 but slipped down the ladder due to confusion over her approach of play and injury problems.

Since coming back from a foot injury in May, when she was 79th in the rankings, Garcia has won a WTA 1000 title on hardcourt, won a grasscourt event in Bad Homburg and the Warsaw tournament on clay.

“We made it clear which way I have to play, which direction I have to go,” Garcia, who climbed up to world number 17th on Monday, said, referring to her new coach Bertrand Perret and her team.

“So when I step on court, I know what game style I have to play, and I know what I have to do, and always try to do it the best I can.”

In Cincinnati, the last big tune-up event before the US Open, Garcia came through the qualifiers before taking down Maria Sakkari, Aryna Sabalenka and Jessica Pegula - all three ranked in the top-10 of the women’s world rankings.

She defeated two-time former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the final to underline her title aspirations for the hardcourt major in New York from Aug. 29.

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“When I arrived on tour, I was definitely playing like that,” Garcia told reporters about her offensive game, confirming it was the only way forward for her. “That’s the way it was working for me.

That’s the way I learned to play tennis. “Sometimes I did doubt it, because it was not always working… And then I did it kind of half and half, and it was not working anymore. “I have to accept that it may not work every time.”


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