Caroline Garcia vs Carla Suarez Navarro live streaming, preview and tips: Can the spell of the Caja Magica help Suarez Navarro to a first Madrid Open semifinal?

Hannah Wilks in WTA 9 May 2018
  • Seventh seed Caroline Garcia faces Spanish favourite Carla Suarez Navarro in the Mutua Madrid Open quarterfinals
  • Garcia vs Suarez Navarro Madrid Open tennis is live from Madrid on Thursday at 12pm local/11am BST
  • Watch and bet on tennis live from Madrid at bet365 > live streaming > tennis (geo-restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify) 
Caroline Garcia (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Seventh seed Caroline Garcia faces off with Carla Suarez Navarro, whose passionate performances have brought her home crowd to their feet repeatedly this week, in the quarterfinals of the Mutua Madrid Open.

Caroline Garcia vs Carla Suarez Navarro Madrid Open tennis is streamed live from Madrid on Thursday at 12pm local/11am BST (geo-restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify). Watch and bet on tennis live from Madrid at bet365 > live streaming > tennis

Just eight women remain at the 2018 Mutua Madrid Open, with four semifinal spots up for grabs – can the in-form Caroline Garcia continue to play well or will Spanish favourite Carla Suarez Navarro manage to pull off yet another dramatic win at the Caja Magica?

Neither woman has ever been to the semifinals at the Mutua Madrid Open, and it would be a very significant achievement for either of them – for different reasons.

For Caroline Garcia, making the semifinals at the Mutua Madrid Open – the third Premier Mandatory event of the season, and the only one played on clay – would be primarily significant in the build-up to the French Open, the Grand Slam where she would no doubt love to excel above all others. Garcia’s quarterfinal appearance at the French Open in 2017 was hugely significant, and not just because she hadn’t managed to get that far at any other major; it showed the Frenchwoman, for the past few years consigned to the ‘talented but too mentally fragile to achieve much’ category, that she could overcome her own demons, specifically the painful nerves of playing at home and the added sting of her public differences with the French Fed Cup team (one of whom, Alize Cornet, she beat in the round of 16) and former doubles partner Kristina Mladenovic.

While it lacked the eye-catching panache of her incredible finish to the season in 2017 – the unprecedented back-to-back Wuhan and Beijing titles and her semifinal run on her debut at the WTA Finals Singapore – that French Open run was hugely significant for Garcia, and it’s no coincidence that she’s really sparked back into life after an average first quarter as the WTA Tour returned to clay and the build-up to Roland Garros started in earnest. A semifinalist at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix two weeks ago, where she beat Maria Sharapova and Elina Svitolina, Garcia has yet to drop a set on her way to the quarterfinals in Madrid despite facing three tricky opponents: Former Madrid runner-up Dominika Cibulkova, resurgent Croatian Petra Martic and world no. 12 Julia Goerges.

Garcia was especially impressive against Goerges, controlling the match more or less from start to finish, serving beautifully and most admirably avoiding any repeat of the drastic late-match wobble she suffered against Martic, from which she was lucky to be able to escape with a straight-sets victory. She took an early break to lead 2-0, fended off break points in two different games before breaking again to take the first set, and stayed strong on serve in the second set before raising her game at the crucial moment to record a 6-2, 6-4 win.


Carla Suarez Navarro (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
If Garcia wants to boost her confidence and form ahead of Roland Garros, for Carla Suarez Navarro it’s undoubtedly about Madrid and nothing else. The usually reserved and quite shy Spanish player has been uncharacteristically emotional and passionate on court this week at the Caja Magica, responding to the vehement support of the crowd, and it’s paid off with just her second quarterfinal appearance in Madrid in eight appearances, and her first since 2015. 

Ranked as high as world no. 6 in early 2016 after making the two biggest finals of her career in 2015 – at the Premier Mandatory Miami Open and the Premier-5 Internazionali BNL d’Italia – and winning the Qatar Total Open in Doha in early 2016, Suarez Navarro has struggled with injury since, most especially a back injury in early 2017, and she was down to world no. 40 at the start of the 2018 season. After making the quarterfinals at the Australian Open and Indian Wells, Suarez Navarro is back up to world no. 25, but a couple of recent defeats to players ranked outside the world’s top 100 seemingly didn’t bode so well for much in Madrid.

How wrong we were. Suarez Navarro’s second-round win over fourth seed Elina Svitolina, after a solid but unexceptional win over Barbora Strycova in the first round, was the most dramatic and brilliant WTA match of the week so far in Madrid as the diminutive Spanish player – who could barely get a ball in court in the first set and who went over on her right ankle at one point – failed to serve the second set out, only to take it in a tie breaker, much to the delight of the fans on Arantxa Sanchez Vicario. But that was nothing to their delight when Suarez Navarro, at the end of a turbulent third set, fell mid-point but converted match point nonetheless on the demoralized Svitolina.

To see Suarez Navarro, so reserved usually, in floods of tears was a remarkable sight and the visual metaphor of falling, only to get back up and win, was a perfect one for this underrated player’s career. I thought she wouldn’t have much left emotionally or physically for Wednesday’s match, but once again Suarez Navarro proved herself equal to a three-set challenge, roared on by the crowd as she ousted the impressive American qualifier Bernarda Pera 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.

Surely two long emotional matches will take their toll on Suarez Navarro when she faces Garcia in the quarterfinals – but then, she’s clearly drawing inspiration from the crowd at the Caja Magica and their passionate support. (On the other hand, attendance is not great early and the match is scheduled at 12pm local on Manolo Santana Stadium, which can feel very empty when not full.) 
Garcia is playing crisp, controlled and very impressive tennis at the moment and she does have a clear power advantage over Suarez Navarro. The Spaniard’s response is to try to wear her down and frustrate her into unforced errors, as well as using her own variety off the ground to open up avenues of attack. In their only previous meeting, it was Garcia who prevailed in three sets in Dubai in 2016. It should be a more straightforward win for Garcia on Thursday – unless the magic of the Caja Magica can work for Suarez Navarro once again.


Garcia vs Suarez Navarro Madrid Open tennis is live from Madrid on Thursday at 12pm local/11am BST. Watch & bet on the match at bet365 > live streaming > tennis > Caroline Garcia vs Carla Suarez Navarro (geo-restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify) 


Share this with your friends

To:
From:
Your comments:

Caroline Garcia vs Carla Suarez Navarro live streaming, preview and tips: Can the spell of the Caja Magica help Suarez Navarro to a first Madrid Open semifinal?

Caroline Garcia vs Carla Suarez Navarro live streaming, preview and tips for the Mutua Madrid Open quarterfinal match on Thursday 10 May 2018: In-form Garcia looks set to end the inspired run of Spanish favourite Suarez Navarro. We preview the match and show you how you can watch the match live and bet in-play.

Read more »

You have unread messages

You have unread messages