Italy’s Camila Giorgi is having a wonderful ,year and she continued the positive season with a straight sets win over Pauline Parmentier 6-3 7-6 to open up her campaign in the tournament in Linz.
Giorgi, who is a former finalist at this event from four years ago, initially made a very slow start. Mistiming her groundstrokes, missing narrowly both wide and long, she deserved to be down the early break to Parmentier. The question was whether those aggressive, risky groundstrokes of the Italian would start to find their marks and whether she would slowly turn the scoreboard around in her favour and the answer was a resounding yes.
Giorgi really began to do what she does best, particularly in an indoor setting, and that was taking the match away from her opponent without giving them a say in the matter. Parmentier has the capability to win matches off the aggression of her forehand side, but the problems with playing someone like Giorgi is that she does not give you the option to decide your fate yourself. The Italian dictated the pace of the rally, the direction of the rally, but most importantly she more often than not dictates the outcome of the rally. Giorgi put together a sixteen point spell, which completely changed the momentum of the set and calmly took six of the next seven games to turn the set around, 6-3.
The courts here in Linz really are very slow, not like any typical indoor tournament, where the balls fly and the lack of variables like the wind to affect the conditions of the match. Here in Linz, the pace of the court is slower and the bounce of the ball stays very low, which helps the players who apply the rallies with lots of slice and variation. The difficulty with playing someone like Giorgi even on these courts is that she makes the slower courts look fast because of the nature of her tennis.
Even with the unbelievable power you could see signs of where Giorgi’s game has evolved over the years. Yes, she’s predominantly a hard hitter than takes the racquet out of her opponents hands, but what she has added to her game is the ability to sense when to take pace off the ball, when to add shape and when to make the simple put-away. Many would have been surprised to see Giorgi make those slight adjustments but she has done just that in order to allow her tennis to blossom.
Giorgi took the early break in the opening game of the second set, but would soon find a resurgent Parmentier striving to make things more cagey. A double fault in the middle of the game at 4-3 really gave Parmentier the lifeline she was desperate for, but Giorgi stuck to her gameplan, stayed with the game she knows well and uses well, and found her aggressive targets often enough to seal the win in a tiebreak.
Giorgi had this to say (in Italian) after her match:
“The first match in a tournament is always the toughest. It took me a few points to figure out how the courts play because practice courts are faster than the main court. I like Linz and I like playing indoors. I am happy because I started with a plan to expose her backhand, when I realized this I managed to start winning points off the forehand too.”
The key to this win for the Italian was being the one in control, exploiting the frail backhand of the Frenchwoman regularly, but Giorgi did what she really knows well and that is to accept failures, move on to the next point and play the same way as she continues to use the winning formula that served her well over the years. Giorgi now moves on to the second round, where she will face qualifier Jil Teichmann.
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