Caroline Garcia beats Karolina Pliskova to win Tianjin Open title

Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic in action against Qiang Wang of China. File. Thomas Peter Reuters

Second-seeded Caroline Garcia won her first tournament of the year with a 7-6 (7), 6-3 win over top-seeded Karolina Pliskova in the Tianjin Open on Sunday. But when serving at 5-3 with the set on her racket, Pliskova hit two backhand errors, and suddenly, it was 5-5.

Pliskova, who won the Pan Pacific Open title last month, dropped just eight points on serve and broke Bacsinszky four times to reach Sunday's final against France's Caroline Garcia.

Second seed Garcia cruised past Taiwan's Hsieh Su-Wei 6-3 6-4 to move into her first final since lifting back-to-back titles in Wuhan and Beijing a year ago. Both players confidently held in the first set, with a single exception as Pliskova saved three break points in the fifth game.

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Naturally, the set went to a tiebreak, where Pliskova dominated with huge forehands to race to a 5-1 lead. However, she followed a deep crosscourt forehand with a well-placed volley into the open court to win the seventh tiebreak out of 19 played this season 9-7.

The 24-year-old Garcia - seeded second in Tianjin - enjoyed a breakthrough 2017, winning back-to-back titles in Wuhan and Beijing, and qualifying for the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore, where she lost in the semi-finals. Garcia forced Garcia to net a backhand and confidently went for a down the line forehand victor to erase the second.

"I was a little bit more aggressive than her and that's what made the difference in the first set". She secured the title with her sixth ace of the match.

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