A lot has been said about the career of Italy’s Camila Giorgi to this point. No-one strikes the ball as flat and as powerful as the Italian and no-one really approaches tennis in the same way that Giorgi does, which makes her fascinating to watch on the WTA Tour.
With her ranking now situated outside the world’s top-100, many questions are raised as to whether Giorgi should make particular and subtle reformations to her game in order to evolve and become a better player. The one thing that has to be taken into consideration when tackling specific adjustments and alterations to a tennis player’s game is whether making those changes can be too drastic for that individual.
Let’s not forget, Giorgi’s brand of tennis, which is to hit the ball as hard as she can, has elevated to her as high as #30 in the world. This suggests that the game is there to make that kind of move again on the WTA Tour. One would argue that Giorgi’s strategy on a tennis court is good enough to beat most players when she’s feeling great about her game. It is the moments where she doesn’t where we see the negative parts.
Camila Giorgi on the offensive
Camila Giorgi likes to play inside the baseline. You will frequently see her positioned inside the court on her first serve return and she steps even closer to the service line when she attempts to attack the second serve. The intent is great, but the regularity in which she can meet the ball with accurate and precise contact is something that continues to be in question.
Another prime example of that mentality of returning serve is with France’s Caroline Garcia. Garcia loves to meet the ball before it rises and is one of the most aggressive returners in the women’s game, but what we see from Garcia and Giorgi is a lot of cheap, free points being gifted away, because they fail to recognise the quality of the serve or the quality of the server delivering that serve.
But, on the other hand, Giorgi’s picked up some of her biggest career wins by adapting this return stance. An example of that was against former world #1 Caroline Wozniacki at the US Open in 2013, where the Italian showed that her attacking, expansive and aggressive game is good enough to topple the sturdiest of defences on the WTA Tour. The doubt is whether she can bring this high level of attacking tennis on a regular basis.
The brutality of some of Giorgi’s ball-striking is sensational to spectate in person. She has one of the cleanest backhands from a technical standpoint and does not let up regardless of the opponent she is facing. That is admirable in many ways.
The main thing I noticed in Giorgi’s AEGON Classic qualifying match against Emily Appleton, was her determination to play tennis on the front-foot even when she is in defensive positions on the court. Sometimes a defensive lob or slice would suffice, but the Italian was determined to flatten out her strokes from deep behind the baseline.
Double faults still an issue for Camila Giorgi
The major weakness in Giorgi’s game is the second serve. Today she served a total of twelve double faults, but still managed to walk away with the victory. On many other days that may not be the case. The first serve is a real weapon when she finds her mark, but the inconsistency with her very aggressive second serve holds her back and donates many free points to her opponent.
What got Camila Giorgi through this match was the ruthlessness of her groundstrokes. Her opponent, Emily Appleton, struggled to find any kind of rhythm on her own serve, and could not boss any of the rallies due to the power of the Italian.
OMG Camila just hit a second serve that went over the backboard…without bouncing
— Michael (@lobwinners) June 17, 2017
Will we see a new-and-improved Camila Giorgi between now and the end of her career? I think that it is great to see a tennis player that buys into her brand of tennis as much as Giorgi does. She has never shied away from playing high-risk tennis and it’s bought her valuable wins over the likes of Wozniacki and Victoria Azarenka as well as helped her make many WTA finals on the quicker surfaces.
I think if we took away the low-percentage tennis of Camila Giorgi. And we saw her play with much more margin on all of her shots, then the tour would be less enticing to watch. The high-risk tennis of Giorgi is something that makes part of WTA look so appealing and compelling at the same time.