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By Adrianna Outlaw | Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Grand Slam champions bring out the best in Camila Giorgi.

The 100th-ranked Italian qualifier conquered two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova, 7-6 (7), 6-2, storming into the Sydney International semifinals.

Watch: Federer Ready for Launch

It was Giorgi’s second straight win over a major champion following her 6-3, 6-0 thrashing of reigning US Open champion Sloane Stephens.

The 26-year-old Giorgi has not dropped a set in four matches this week, including two qualifying wins, powering into her first quarterfinal since she made the last eight on Birmingham’s grass last June.

Covering the court quickly and crunching her groundstrokes with conviction, Giorgi matched one of the game’s premier power players shot-for-shot.

While Giorgi can be a flashy shotmaker with a flair for toppling elite players—she owns career wins over Garbine Muguruza, Maria Sharapova, Karolina Pliskova, Caroline Wozniacki, Jelena Ostapenko and Madison Keys—consistency can be a challenge when she struggles to land her flat strikes between the lines.

Giorgi played cleaner tennis than the 2015 Sydney champion for much of the match. She saved a set point at 5-6 in the tie break and won the opening set in 70 minutes.

“Today I was very consistent on the court,” Giorgi said. “I was trying to do my serve and [be] more consistent, maybe for sure of the first matches here. So I just did my game and it worked today. I was just focusing on my game and trying to play as aggressive as I can. I just try to play as much as I can this year and get this level consistent—that’s all.”

Serving at 4-5 Kvitova saved two set points including curling a slice serve on the second, then broke to serve for the set. Pouncing three feet inside the baseline to return, Giorgi blasted a bold backhand return to break back for 6-all. She converted her fifth set point when Kvitova sent a backhand beyond the baseline.

Key Stat

Kvitova committed 34 unforced errors—10 more than her explosive and sometime erratic opponent. Giorgi was tenacious converting her fifth set point in the opener.

Talking Point

“I’m not really mentally down after that match. She played very well. I think we played just once before in Fed Cup and she definitely didn’t play like she did today. I think it was pretty good. I had my chances. I was serving for the set and that was definitely the key of the first set—that I didn’t make my service game. Before I was really fighting for two or three service games. In the end of the day, I think I was a good one she was moving very well she didn’t give me so many easy balls.”—Petra Kvitova

Turning Point

Serving for a one-set lead at 6-5, Kvitova could not close. Giorgi jolted a backhand return winner to break back and force the tie break where she saved a set point of her own at 5-6 before taking the 70-minute opener and streaming through the second set.

What’s Next?

In a match of power vs. precision, Giorgi meets 2013 champion Agnieszka Radwanska for a semifinal spot. Radwanska repelled Giorgi, 6-2, 6-3, at the 2012 Wimbledon. The lithe Italian avenged that loss with a 6-4, 6-2 semifinal sweep in the 2015 semifinals of Radwanska’s home tournament in Katowice. Neither woman has surrender a set in the tournament so far.


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