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WATCH: Garcia reversed a third-set deficit to edge into the second round over Yastremska.

Caroline Garcia rallied from the brink of defeat as main-draw action got underway at the 2022 BNP Paribas Open, withstanding an inspired charge from Ukrainian hero Dayana Yastremska, 6-4, 6-7 (8), 7-5 to book a meeting with reigning US Open champ Emma Raducanu.

Yastremska, who fled Ukraine with 15-year-old sister Ivanna in the wake of Russia’s military assault, forced a final set after saving two match points in a second-set tiebreaker. The wild card emerged on court draped in Ukraine’s flag and led by a break in the decider before Garcia claimed five of the final six games to advance in two hours and 27 minutes.

A former world No. 4, Garcia was tipped to be a major force as early as 2011 when an awestruck Andy Murray famously watched the then-teenager take Maria Sharapova to three sets at her home major in Paris. Her raw talent and natural athleticism clicked together at the end of 2017 when she won back-to-back titles in Wuhan and Beijing to score a last-minute berth at that year’s WTA Finals, where she reached the semis.

Inconsistencies have stunted her progress in the years since, taking her out of the Top 20 and to an eight-year ranking low of No. 77 last fall. Garcia ceased working with father Louis-Paul in a coaching capacity in 2021, and Billie Jean King Cup captain Julien Benneteau was on hand Wednesday evening to watch his compatriot take an early lead on Yastremska, a player she’d never beaten in two previous meetings.

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Yastremska arrived on court draped in Ukraine's flag, and received warm support from the Indian Wells crowd.

Yastremska arrived on court draped in Ukraine's flag, and received warm support from the Indian Wells crowd.

It was against Garcia that Yastremska won her second WTA title in 2019, a season that saw her make her first major fourth round appearance at Wimbledon and qualify for the WTA Elite Trophy—a former second-tier WTA Championships for Top 20 players. An anti-doping violation, one of which she was ultimately cleared, took her off the court for the first half of 2021, and the time away visibly derailed her pre-pandemic momentum as she struggled to string together wins.

Falling out of the Top 100 before the Australian Open, the 21-year-old began showing elite form at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, where, as a qualifier she stunned Barbora Krejcikova en route to the quarterfinals.

The emotional journey from Ukraine to France in the weeks that followed only seemed to strengthen her on-court resolve, inspiring her to a runner-up finish at the Open 6e Sens Métropole de Lyon.

“I just came from a country where there’s war, and there’s my family,” she said after her first win last week. “It was very tough, emotionally, and I wish I could be at home now…I’m happy that I won for my country; at the same time, I’m very sad.”

Yastremska received a late wild card after a withdrawal put four-time major champion Naomi Osaka into the main draw. Against Garcia, unforced errors hampered her efforts as she fell behind a set and a break. A concentrated burst helped her reverse the deficit and put her more experienced opposition on defense ahead of a dramatic tiebreaker. Saving two match points, Yastremska rode the momentum into a 4-2 final set lead, looking to win a main-draw match at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden for only the second time in her career.

For her part, Garcia has also looked stronger since the Australian summer swing—upsetting Simona Halep at the Qatar TotalEnergies Open and reaching the semifinals in Lyon—and channeled that momentum into a late comeback against the Ukrainian and edge into the second round.

In all, Yastremska’s 41 winners were undone by a whopping 75 unforced errors, and while Garcia struck fewer winners, she also made 19 fewer errors and converted an impressive four of nine break point opportunities to Yastremska’s two of 10.

Awaiting her there is No. 11-seeded Raducanu, who earned an opening-round bye and will be playing her first match since retiring in the third set of her Acapulco clash with Daria Saville. The hip injury caused her to withdraw from her next scheduled event in Acapulco, and the Brit is yet to win four matches since shocking the world by winning her first major title as a qualifier.