Tennis

Giorgi Captures Montreal Title With Win Over Pliskova; Dabrowski/Stefani Break Through In Doubles

Camila Giorgi stormed to the biggest title of her career at the Omnium Banque Nationale with a 6-3 7-5 win over No.4 seed Karolina Pliskova in 1 hour and 40 minutes.

This was the unseeded Giorgi’s first career 1000-level title, her third overall, first since 2018, first above 250 level and first on outdoor hard courts. Previously, the Italian was champion at ‘s-Hertogenbosch 2015 on grass and Linz 2018 on indoor hard courts. Giorgi’s fine recent form has seen her overcome two notable records for her latest success: Before this year, she was 1-5 against Pliskova and 2-6 in WTA finals.

The past two months have seen Giorgi turn her head-to-head against the Czech around in emphatic fashion. She stunned Pliskova 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 in the first round of Eastbourne in June, and backed that up with a 6-4, 6-2 dismissal in the third round of the Tokyo Olympic Games. Here, she meted out Pliskova’s third final defeat of 2021, following losses in Rome to Iga Swiatek and at Wimbledon to Ashleigh Barty.

The World No.71 Giorgi upset four seeded players – No.9 Elise Mertens, No.7 Petra Kvitova and No.15 Coco Gauff as well as Pliskova en route to becoming the lowest-ranked champion in Canada since No.80-ranked Serena Williams took the title in 2011. Giorgi dropped just one set across the week, to Jessica Pegula in the semifinals.

In both of Pliskova’s previous finals this year, she was undone by slow starts. But the opening stages of the Montreal title match were solid and tightly contested through the first six games. Both players were striking the ball cleanly, but winning points through a combination of power and margin rather than low-percentage placement.

Both would extricate themselves from the first break-point danger they faced, with Giorgi pulling off a stellar get to do so, and at 3-3 she struck. Using deep forehand returns at Pliskova’s feet to superb effect, she broke the former World No.1’s serve after a mighty five-deuce tussle. From there, Giorgi rolled to the end of the set, with Pliskova dropping serve in somewhat tame fashion with a double fault and wide forehand in its final game.

Another pair of double faults and netted groundstrokes from Pliskova gifted Giorgi a 3-1 lead in the second set – but an uncharacteristic tossed racquet from the former World No.26 was a sign that there could be more plot twists to come. Sure enough, consecutive double faults from Giorgi in the next game handed the break straight back.

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