MASON, Ohio ‒ Two pauses in play totaling five hours of weather delays couldn't stop France's Caroline Garcia from making history on Saturday night at the Western & Southern Open.
Garcia has put together a magical run through qualifying and Saturday's 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 win put Garcia through to Sunday's final against Petra Kvitova, making Garcia the first qualifier to ever reach the W&S Open final and the first qualifier to ever reach the final in a WTA 1000 event.
The match started at 1:26 p.m. and the first weather delay hit at 2:27 p.m. and lasted until 4:57 p.m. The second weather delay hit at 5:57 p.m. and last until 7:32 p.m.
During those breaks, Garcia said, "You wait doing nothing, because you don't know when it's going to come back. (They) don't always like give you like a time and everything. You try to eat a little something but not too much, not to be heavy if you have to come back sooner than expected."
Garcia got some rest, read a book and talked with her coach.
"That was pretty much that for I don't know how many hours," she said.
When it was finally time to finish the match, wearing a different outfit than she started in, Garcia completed something no one really expected or certainly saw coming this week.
"I guess no one expected it, that's for sure," she smiled. "It's a long way to come from quallies.
"... It's one match at a time. Try to take the best from every single match, really improve through the tournament. Yeah, I mean, feels like I have been here for a long time, I have to admit. I know the site pretty well now, but I kind of enjoy it and it's really nice to be in the final."
As for that final on Sunday, Garcia spoke highly of her counterpart and the challenge that awaits.
"She's a great champion," said Garcia. "It's probably, like today, you know, the most aggressive player will probably get the win. You have to try to play faster, to move better on court against a player like this. A final, it's the match you are looking forward to it. It's a great challenge for me to play against Petra, and I will try to play my game style as best that I can."