“I did not travel to Indian Wells because I staying for the final of the tournament in Lyon,” Caroline Garcia said. “And I was due to travel on Monday, and Monday morning when my wake-up call rang at 6:30 a.m., I saw that everywhere everything was canceled. Do you take the flight?"
On Wednesday, Tennis Channel Live caught up with Caroline Garcia, who is training at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca, Spain. She recalled how the pandemic unfolded for her in early March, when Indian Wells became the first event to be canceled after a confirmed local case of COVID-19.
"I was like, ‘what’s going on?’ And then I said there’s no point to go for now so I just stayed in my bed a little bit longer.”
During the lockdown, the Frenchwoman trained with just her dad and hitting partner before making the decision to travel to Mallorca.
“You can feel the Rafa spirit everywhere,” she joked.
Garcia was asked if Andy Murray’s praises right after she turned pro—the Scot said she looked like a future No. 1—put additional pressure on her.
“Yes, it was a really nice comment and I was not expecting it at all,” she said. “But I was only 17 and was probably 115 in the world. My game, my head was not ready for this kind of expectation. I already had expectation in France to be a newcomer and everything. But like everyone was looking at me after that.”
Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion, obviously knew what he was talking about because Garcia would go on to reach a career-high of No. 4, in 2018. She also won the French Open doubles in 2016, alongside compatriot Kristina Mladenovic.
“When I wanted to play doubles with Kristina, our goal was to win a Slam and to make it to the [year-end event] in Singapore,” Garcia said. “We made it. We won a Slam and we won the best, the French Open. It was a great experience.”