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By Richard Pagliaro | Tuesday, August 9, 2022

 
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Defending champion Camila Giorgi rolled through six straight games beating US Open champion Emma Raducanu 7-6(0), 6-2 in Toronto.

Photo credit: Getty

Self-belief is vital to singles success.

Camila Giorgi seldom met a ball she didn't believe she could obliterate.

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Today, the queen of grip-and-rip tennis hit US Open champion Emma Raducanu right out of Toronto.

Defending champion Giorgi channeled her prodigious power with placement streaking through six straight games in a 7-6(0), 6-2 victory at the National Bank Open today.

It is Giorgi's 16th Top 10 victory with eight of those wins coming on hard courts.



Last August, Giorgi combined fine footwork and phenomenal shotmaking conquering Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 7-5 to capture the biggest title of her career at the National Bank Open when it was staged in Montreal. In a masterful week, Giorgi scored straight-sets wins over four seeds—ninth-seeded Elise Mertens, seventh-seeded Petra Kvitova, 15th-seeded Coco Gauff and two-time major finalist Pliskova—as she collected her first WTA title since 2019 Linz.

Returning to launch her title defense today, Giorgi showed some jitters as did Raducanu.

In their first meeting, the pair combined for four consecutive breaks to open.

Serving at 5-6, Raducanu tried targeting the Italian's forehand. Giorgi made her pay with a deep return right down the middle rattling out an error for a set point.

The defending champion overhit a backhand return off a second serve to squander it. Reading the direction of Giorgi's short forehand, Raducanu rapped a running forehand and drew an errant return holding to force the tiebreaker.

Unleashing clean, bold strikes, Giorgi flashed successive forehand winners to go up 6-0 in the breaker. Raducanu's first double fault of the day ended the shutout tiebreaker as Giorgi took a one-set lead after 71 minutes.

US Open champion Raducanu has understandably struggled at times to string wins together while developing her game. The 19-year-old moved well today, but sometimes looked handcuffed by the deep drive down the middle and could not match Giorgi's super firepower on pivotal points.

Hitting her strokes nearly 10 miles-an-hour faster than Raducanu at times, Giorgi clocked three winners in a row including smacking a clean backhand crosscourt for her second straight break and a 3-2 second-set lead.




The 29th-ranked Giorgi rolled through three consecutive love games to turn a 2-2 second-set deadlock into a 5-2 lead in a matter of minutes. 

On her third match point, Giorgi showed soft touch carving out a drop volley winner to close in one hour, 49 minutes. Next up for Giorgi is Elise Mertens, whom she defeated en route to the Montreal title last summer. Mertens stopped Anna Bondar 7-6(2), 6-1.

In an all-American clash, Coco Gauff swept Madison Brengle 6-1, 6-3. Gauff served just 45 percent, but won 17 of 21 first-serve points and faced only two break points.

"She's not an easy opponent to play," Gauff said. "She always has a difficult game because it's so just all over the place. But she is super nice. And I thought today was some good tennis for me."

The Roland Garros finalist will face Wimbledon winner Elena Rybakina in round two. Rybakina scored a three-set win over Marie Bouzkova yesterday.

 

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