Tennis: France's Caroline Garcia wins Tianjin Open for first title of 2018

Caroline Garcia of France holds the trophy after winning the women's singles final match at the Tianjin Open tennis tournament, on Oct 14, 2018.
Caroline Garcia of France holds the trophy after winning the women's singles final match at the Tianjin Open tennis tournament, on Oct 14, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (AFP) - Caroline Garcia won her first tennis title of the year, defeating Karolina Pliskova to edge a nervy Tianjin Open final on Sunday (Oct 14).

The French player, ranked 16th in the world, battled through a tight first set before streaking away in the second to beat the Czech top seed 7-6 (9-7), 6-3.

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.

But she has struggled in comparison this year and her China Open defence in Beijing came to a meek end in the last 16, losing the deciding set 6-0 to Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.

The Tianjin title is the sixth of Garcia's career.