Garcia grabs chance to be the ‘hunted’
AN early exit from her first tournament of 2019 was not the ideal start for Caroline Garcia and the world No. 19 is determined to make use of her maiden appearance in Hobart next week.
Garcia, who was bundled out of the first round of the Shenzhen Open, was handed a wildcard into the Hobart International and as the high- est ranked player in the draw is the top seed.
Coming off a season in which she hit a career high mark of No.4 in September, the Frenchwoman is eyeing off greater glory at the first Grand Slam of the year but is well aware of the importance of progressing deep in Hobart to help achieve that feat.
“It is a good preparation for the Australian Open, I came here for matches and hope- fully I will get them,” Garcia said.
“Obviously before Slams the plan is to play well in the first tournament you play then to rest a little bit to recover.
“It didn’t happen like this for me in Shenzhen. I had a decision between practice in Melbourne but I was afraid it was too long, I wanted to play matches because competition is what I like and need.
“I am very happy the tour- nament director gave me the wildcard.”
A winner of six WTA titles, Garcia last year reached the fourth round of the Australian Open.
She knows being the top seed she will be the hunted, but is confident she can handle the expectations.
“It is a very good draw in Hobart, it is an international event so a little bit lower than Sydney but we can see, it is closed at 60, 70, it is very strong for an international event.
“There are a lot of players who have been better rankings than they are now and you know with the conditions and the beginning of the year, every match is very complicated no matter who you play.
“I’ve been top 10, I think I had good experience from last year as seed No. 1, you want to go far and that’s my goal, but will see what I can do.”