US Open: Caroline Garcia is playing like the queen of Queens, so was Andy Murray right all along?

·3-min read

Caroline Garcia has dialled up the aggression and is reaping the rewards as the Frenchwoman emerges as a serious title contender at the US Open.

On Sunday, Garcia moved through to the quarter-finals by beating Alison Riske-Amritraj 6-4 6-1 on Louis Armstrong Stadium.

She has won four matches without dropping a set in the first week of the grand slam in Queens, New York, but that is just the continuation of a sensational hot streak.

Garcia, now 28, has won 30 of her last 34 matches, landing titles in Bad Homburg, Warsaw and Cincinnati along the way.

At the 2011 French Open, ATP superstar Andy Murray was so taken by the 17-year-old Garcia's performance against Maria Sharapova that he predicted: "The girl Sharapova is playing is going to be number one in the world one day."

Perhaps Murray will turn out to be right after all, with that forecast having long hung over Garcia, as well intended as it was at the time.

She reached a peak of number four in 2018 but was down at 79th on the WTA list in late May of this year.

Now she sits 17th and will keep climbing after reaching the last eight at the US Open for the first time.

On a 12-match winning streak at present, Garcia said after sinking the hopes of American Riske-Amritraj: "I'm so excited to be in the quarters of the US Open. It's been a great couple of weeks for me."

She came through qualifying to win the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati, beating Petra Kvitova in that final after felling three seeds along the way.

Recent wins over Iga Swiatek in Poland and Emma Raducanu at Wimbledon, beating home favourites, have showed Garcia is suddenly fearless.

She faces Coco Gauff next, the new darling of the New York crowds, after the teenager scuttled the hopes of Zhang Shuai, beating the Chinese 7-5 7-5 on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

"I'm really trying to play aggressive, go for my shots, even when I'm tight or even when I don't feel it," she said.

"It's how I improved so much in the last couple of months and I really enjoy playing like that, moving forward, and I'm having fun."

Garcia was not at her most fluent in the first set of Sunday's fourth-round match but improved and finished the contest having hit 30 winners.

She has only played one grand slam quarter-final before, losing to Karolina Pliskova at that stage in the 2017 French Open.

Suddenly, though, she is playing top-five standard tennis again, and Garcia will take some stopping.

"I want to enjoy every single win I have," Garcia said in an on-court interview.

"When you don't have them, you miss them, so I want to enjoy this one and recover and get ready for the big match in the quarter.

"I'm really having fun here in the US. I got a lot of confidence from Cincinnati, really enjoy the good energy in New York."