Caroline Garcia reflects on superlative 2022 season

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Having reached a career-high No 4 in the WTA Rankings in 2018, Garcia's form started to dip as the following season she ended her campaign at No 45, in 2020 she was No 43 and last year she finished the year at No 74. And her form didn't really pick up during the early half of this season as she exited the Australian Open and French Open in the first few rounds. In a heartfelt Instagram post, Garcia reflected on the start of her year. "Dear 2022 season. You made me go through all kind of emotions. I cried from pain, sadness and joy in eleven months. But I learned so much about myself as a player and as a person," the Frenchwoman wrote. "Several times I was invaded by doubts, let myself be overwhelmed by the negative. I questioned the universe, told myself that maybe my luck had passed, that I would never succeed again… "I've had sleepless nights, binge eating, I cried in my hotel room, cried on tennis court, have been on crutches, swore, relearned to walk, I struggled to find shoes, I suffered physically and mentally. But I also learned from every moment, every difficulty. My foot injury made me realize how much I wanted to come back to the courts and above all play my real game, the one I like to watch offensive tennis. I love going to the net, hitting winners drop volleys, slamming aces to be inside the courts on the return. "This injury allowed me to play more liberated, I learned to let go, I learned to accept my mistakes, the unexpected, to delegate, to trust myself, to follow my instincts, that I can eat a pizza from time to time, it is not going to change the result the next day." Things started to click on the grass as she won the Bad Homburg Open in June - her first title in three years - and then reached the fourth round at Wimbledon. The turnaround in form continued after Wimbledon as she won her second WTA 250 title of the year at the Poland Open - beating the in-form world No 1 Iga Swiatek on court. She carried that form over to the North American hard-court swing as she won her third WTA 100 event - the Cincinnati Masters - and then reached the semi-final of the US Open. Her late-season run helped her to secure a place at the WTA Finals and the cherry on the cake came at Fort Worth, Texas, when she won the season-ending tournament - her fourth title of the year. The 29-year-old continued: "By building day by day, by staying positive, by having confidence with simple goals in mind: to be healthy, to do my best day by day, to live in the present moment, to play my game to the fullest, I ended up live [sic] with the best season of my career! "In the end I liked this season. I had unreal experiences. I shared incredible moments with my family, my team, my friends. I am grateful for every day, every moment and every person who accompanied me during this season."

She added: "I have the feeling that I can still improve my game so much. I like to push my limits, challenge myself and I'd like to play that way. It's time to decompress, digest and enjoy living the present moment."

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