Caroline Garcia, although beaten in the final in Monterrey on Sunday, seems on the right track after an irregular first quarter and concentrates the meager hopes of French victory in Indian Wells, where Gaël Monfils will return after more than seven months of absence.
They are ten Tricolores, eight men and two women directly in the running in the main draw of the Masters 1000, which begins on Wednesday in the Californian desert.
And all eyes will be on Garcia. Brilliant winner of the Masters last November, in Fort Worth (Texas), she inevitably keeps excellent memories of the United States, where she had also won the Cincinnati tournament during the summer, before reaching the semi-finals in the US Open.
But since the beginning of the year, it has been the accordion in terms of results. Eliminated in the 1/8 finals of the Australian Open, she recovered at home in Lyon, even if it ended in a setback for her first final of the season, before then losing more anonymously in quarters in Doha and the second round in Dubai.
It remains to be seen now how “Caro” will digest his defeat in Monterrey against the Croatian Donna Vekic, all the more frustrating as she lacked realism by only concretizing two of the sixteen break points provided.
“Terribly tired, physically and mentally, leaving for the airport in 6 hours but I can’t fall asleep, I’m +scared+ to go to sleep. My mind goes crazy. Every time I turn off the light and I lay my head on the pillow, I can see my game again (…) that easy missed forehand or that bad choice. Tennis can drive you a little crazy,” she tweeted on Sunday night.
– Swiatek in shift? –
Seeded N.5, Garcia has two more days to turn the page, since her entry into the running will not take place before the second round on Friday, against the American Danielle Collins (31st) or the German Tamara Korpatsch ( 81st). Affordable. But will soon loom, if they both succeed, a quarter-final against the world No.1 and defending champion Iga Swiatek.
As for Alizé Cornet (68th), if she passes her first round against the Russian Evgeniya Rodina (427th), she will have a lot to do next, against the Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka (N.2), winner of the Open d’ Australia in January.
Among the men, the light will shine on Gaël Monfils, who has not played again since August 2022 and his retirement in the 3rd round of the Masters 1000 in Montreal, after injuring his foot. Falling back to 210th in the world, the 36-year-old will take a first test against Australian Jordan Thompson (87th). If he passes, he will have an appointment with one of the favorites, the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas (3rd in the world).
Richard Gasquet, the highest ranked Frenchman of the lot (43rd), will be opposed to a qualifier, with the prospect of then challenging the Italian Jannik Sinner (13th). Arthur Rinderknech (72nd) will first have to beat the Czech Jiri Lehecka (47th), to compete with the formidable Russian Andrey Rublev (7th).
Adrian Mannarino (68th) will try to slow down the comeback attempts of Austrian Dominic Thiem (102nd), winner of the US Open in 2020, who is struggling to regain his best level after a wrist injury.
Finally, Grégoire Barrère (65th) will face the American Jack Sock (154th), Constant Lestienne (62nd) the Finnish Emil Ruusuvuori (59th), Ugo Humbert (77th) the Spaniard Bernabe Zapata Miralles (42nd) and Quentin Halys (81st) the American Michael Mmoh (83rd).