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I had nothing to lose, since I had not been serving well the entire match," Strycova said as she entered her sixth final.
The Czech went on a tear in the first set, winning seven straight games and reaching a 2-0 lead in the second before Garcia found her balance and make a match of it.
Strycova complained of a poor day on serve but ended her semi-final over Garcia with an ace.
"I don't know how, but I made three good serves in the final game," said the 29-year-old with one career title from Quebec five years ago.
Her shoulder injury continued to plague her game, sidelining her in 2008.
In 2009, Sharapova had surgery to repair the injury and after a year of rehabilitation and a string of losses, she started to make a comeback in 2011 when she finished the year ranked 4, her first top 5 finish since 2007.
She started playing tennis at an early age and turned professional at the age of 14.
The young Maria picked up her first racket on the courts of the small resort town and returned here today to visit the place where it all began.