France’s Caroline Garcia says that she will put into practice what she has learned through her previous rise and fall and has confidence thanks to her excellent recent form.
Garcia claimed the Cincinnati Masters title two weeks before the US Open seeing her suddenly become the focus of media and fan attention.
She admits that the last time around she didn’t handle being a higher-profile player very well.
“I haven’t managed it very well in the past. Hopefully, I will learn and my team will help figure out how we can improve this,” Garcia told Tennis.com.
Garcia is however more excited by the prospect of playing in a Grand Slam than she is nervous about her results.
“It’s always exciting to come and play a Slam, definitely with the last couple of weeks being positive for me and playing some good tennis.
“I’ve gotten some confidence, I’m looking forward to preparing in the best way that I can, and I hope to do good.”
Garcia will attempt to put press attention completely out of her mind and focus on tennis.
Grand Slams bring a huge bump in the number of reporters and content creators that have access to players but Garcia feels she is prepared to deal with the media.
She said: “I think I got experience from 2018 about press and external pressure, so we’ll try and we’re already trying to make things a little bit different.
“It’s always a good challenge, though to be challenged from the outside is always tougher.
“I’ve been feeling relaxed the last couple weeks and not focusing too much on what other people are thinking about my game. The plan is to try and do the same, be relaxed and only play tennis.”
Garcia is thrilled with her decision to take a break from the game to rehab an injury and recharge mentally.
“It was just too much, being injured for the last couple of years and there always being something wrong,” she said.
“Mentally, I was not able to handle it anymore so we had to do things the way we thought was best: taking a rest and coming back when I felt better and the foot was healthy again. I couldn’t practice and my tennis was getting lower and lower, and I wasn’t getting any fun out of it anymore.
“It’s not easy, especially when you are used to playing everything and you decide to take this step because the body is shut down. I had to accept it and do things as best we can, even if we didn’t always know which way to go. Sometimes you have to choose a path and take it 100%.”
Garcia will kick off her US Open campaign against World No 90 Kamilla Rakhimova on Court 17 on Monday.
The match on an outside court affords Garcia a low-key start to the tournament that many pundits believe she can win.
Garcia was handed the 17th seeding off the back of a rankings surge driven by her Cincinnati win.
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