Tennis: Frenchman Garcia aims for the Paris Olympics after the past “disaster”

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Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia reached the semi-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time in her career at the US Open. AFP

Garcia was suspended by the France national team for “unacceptable” behavior at the Rio 2016 Olympics and lost in the first round of women’s singles and doubles competitions last year in Tokyo.

But the world number 10 is looking forward to a “special” Games in Paris after reaching a Grand Slam semi-final for the first time in her career at this month’s US Open.

“I’ve done it twice already, the Olympics,” Garcia said Monday in Tokyo, where she’s preparing to play at this week’s Pan Pacific Open.

“It was a disaster every time so at least I can only get better the next one. Just winning a game would be nice.”

The French tennis federation has imposed a temporary ban on Garcia and his doubles partner Kristina Mladenovic after they publicly criticized the Rio Games governing body.

Mladenovic said in a tweet that the federation failed to inform players of tournament rules that they must wear the same colors on the pitch, forcing Garcia to change kits at the last minute borrowed from her teammate.

The suspension was later lifted, but Garcia’s Olympic woes continued when she made an early exit at the Tokyo Games last year.

She hopes for better at the Paris Olympics and is currently enjoying a rich vein of form, having reached the semi-finals of the US Open after a 13-game winning streak.

“Playing in my country is definitely a very lucky condition because it’s really rare that I get that chance,” Garcia said.

“I can’t wait to be there. It will be at Roland Garros so it will be even more special. I will try to be ready and do my best.”

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