Monterrey (Mexico), March 5 (IANS) World No.5 Caroline Garcia advanced to her second final of the season by defeating No.4 seed Belgian Elise Mertens 6-3, 6-4 in the Monterrey Open semifinal, setting up a summit clash with Croatian Donna Vekic, who advanced to her first final of 2023 with a win over Chinese Zhu Lin, here.
Bidding to capture her 12th WTA Tour title, Garcia will look to level her head-to-head record against Vekic. The Croatian has won five of their nine duels, with their last meeting coming at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.
The Frenchwoman came into Saturday’s match with a 4-2 lead in the head-to-head over Mertens, with her last win coming last summer en route to the Cincinnati title.
Garcia played her attacking game with confidence to keep the Belgian at bay, firing 33 winners to just 14 unforced errors in the match. Mertens countered with 17 winners to 15 unforced errors, but struggled to withstand Garcia’s relentless pressure.
The 29-year-old has enjoyed a flawless march towards her second Monterrey final, eight years after she made her first.
The Frenchwoman has not lost a set this week, notching wins over Kara Juvan, Nuria Parrizas Dias, Mayar Sherif, and Mertens. She has faced just six break points across her four wins and has been broken just once.