WTA Birmingham: Impressive Camila Giorgi upsets Elina Svitolina

The Italian put in arguably her best performance of 2017 as she beat the world number five 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 to make the last eight.

WTA Birmingham: Impressive Camila Giorgi upsets Elina Svitolina
Camila Giorgi celebrates after her three set win over Elina Svitolina in Birmingham today (Getty/Julian Finney)
Camila Giorgi
2 1
Elina Svitolina

Camila Giorgi recorded one of the biggest wins of her career on Thursday as she upset world number five Elina Svitolina 6-4, 4-6, 6-2  to reach the quarterfinals at the Aegon Classic.

The Italian, who is ranked down at 102nd in the world and was forced to qualify to reach the main draw after a rather drab season to date, put in a calm and controlled performance, hitting only five double faults and an impressive 34 winners to record the eighth top ten of her career.

Svitolina herself did not play too badly until the latter stages of the encounter, where her level dropped a little bit, but the Ukrainian, who only has five victories on grass throughout her career, was simply outplayed by the Italian who generally looked the more comfortable on court throughout the encounter.

Giorgi battles from behind to take the opening set

It was not an amazing start by either woman, though Svitolina broke Giorgi in both of the Italian’s opening service games in the first set, and though she failed to consolidate her advantage the first time, the opening hold of the match saw the world number five take a 3-1 lead in the early stages of this second round encounter.

Camila Giorgi strikes a forehand during her impressive win over Elina Svitolina today (Getty/Ben Hoskins)
Camila Giorgi strikes a forehand during her impressive win over Elina Svitolina today (Getty/Ben Hoskins)

The Italian, who was forced to make the main draw through qualifying, was not down for long, emphatically holding to love before using her raw power to break the second seeds serve for the second time in the match and get back on serve.

With Svitolina holding to even the match up, the Ukrainian piled the pressure on Giorgi in the next game, forcing two breaks, though both were saved in what arguably proved to be the decisive moment of the set. After holding her serve, the Italian saved two game points before hitting a phenomenal backhand winner on set point to take the first set 6-4.

Svitolina forces a decider

Svitolina did not play badly in the decider with the Ukrainian simply struggling towards the end of the first set to deal with Giorgi’s pace and power, though the world number five rebounded fairly well in the second set to take the match to a decider.

The world number five broke in the opening game in the second set and seemed more comfortable moving about the court as she saved two break points to consolidate. A similar pattern followed in the next two games, with the second seed forcing her way to a 4-0 lead against the Italian.

Elina Svitolina's second set resilience was not enough to avoid an upset loss today (Getty/Ben Hoskins)
Elina Svitolina's second set resilience was not enough to avoid an upset loss today (Getty/Ben Hoskins)

Giorgi was not out of the set however, holding comfortably twice to force Svitolina to serve the set out. It seemed that the Italian’s two holds could be crucial, as she broke the Ukrainian at 5-2 and had a break point to even thing up at 5-5, but a miss on the open court proved costly as a huge ace and some huge ball-striking saw Svitolina take the match to a decider.

Giorgi dominates the decider to secure impressive victory

Giorgi’s level had been pretty high throughout the vast majority of the match, and she maintained her high standard of tennis to ease to the upset in the decider.

It was Svitolina who got off to the best start in the decider, breaking the Italian in the opening game of the set, though her lack of experience on grass began to show as Giorgi broke straight back, and then eased through the next three games to take a 4-1 lead in the third and final set.

Camila Giorgi celebrates after her victory today (Getty/Ben Hoskins)
Camila Giorgi celebrates after her victory today (Getty/Ben Hoskins)

Though Svitolina held to stop the run of games against her, she never looked like getting back in the match against an opponent who was looking too strong. After holding her own serve, Giorgi only needed one match point to break and see off the world number five in just over two hours.

The qualifier faces the unseeded Ashleigh Barty in the last eight.

Tennis