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Camila Giorgi ousts defending champion Roberta Vinci to reach Katowice quarterfinals

Hannah Wilks in News 9 Apr 2014
Camila Giorgi (BNP Paribas Katowice Open)

Defending champion Roberta Vinci became the most high-profile casualty at the BNP Paribas Katowice Open as she fell victim to talented but erratic compatriot Camila Giorgi, 6-3, 6-7(7), 6-0.

Vinci’s first-round win over qualifier Ksenia Pervak was only her second match win in 2014 so it was no secret that the Italian was vulnerable heading into her title defence in Poland, but she had won her only meeting with Giorgi in comprehensive style. The younger Italian, who reached the round of 16 at the US Open as a qualifier in 2013 and recently duplicated the feat at Indian Wells, beating Maria Sharapova on the way, has a relentlessly aggressive game style and flat groundstrokes without much margin, meaning that she is generally slapping winners or committing outrageous errors, and she led Vinci by a set and a break before being pegged back to second-set tiebreak. 

After saving two set points with unplayable serve-and-forehand combinations, Giorgi made one unforced error off the forehand side too many and Vinci took the second set with a second-serve winner, but Giorgi roared back in the third set to take it 6-0.

Giorgi will face Shahar Peer, a quarterfinalist in Katowice for the second year in a row after the Israeli player and former world no. 11 defeated Tsvetana Pironkova 6-2, 6-1. Pironkova’s tendency to slice her forehand down the middle of the court rather than hitting out on it was meat and drink to the counterpunching Peer and to make matters worse, Pironkova also struggled with her ball toss despite playing indoors with no wind to disturb it.

All the other seeds progressed although both Klara Koukalova and Carla Suarez Navarro had to fight hard. Koukalova battled to a 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Annika Beck which was extremely heavy weather for the Czech player, who recently reverted to her maiden name after being known as Zakopalova for some years. 

‘It took me a while to find my rhythm but Annika is a very tough opponent,’ Koukalova said. ‘She's just a few spots behind me in the rankings.
‘It was a tough match and I was very happy to improve my game in the third set.’

Too much inconsistency on the forehand side cost Beck as Koukalova came back from 0-1 down in the third set to claim her twentieth win of the season. Only Li Na and Dominika Cibulkova have as many or more, which reflects the fact that Koukalova has already reached finals in Hobart and at the Rio Open as well as capturing her first title in nine years at Florianopolis. 

‘It feels great - I didn't know that I've won 20 matches this year now,’ Koukalova said afterwards. ‘It's a positive thing that I've won so many matches this year. It definitely gives me a lot of confidence.’

Koukalova could face fourth seed Alize Cornet in the quarterfinals, as the French player takes on qualifier Kristina Kucova on Thursday.  
Third seed Carla Suarez Navarro also had to battle for three sets as she faced Alexandra Cadantu, who reached the semifinals as a qualifier in 2013 when the tournament was held on clay and was clearly determined to defend those points. Suarez Navarro prevailed 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 and moves on to face either seventh seed Magdalena Rybarikova – who won her first-round match over Claire Feuerstein on Wednesday – or compatriot Silvia Soler-Espinosa. 

Agnieszka Radwanska, the top seed, will take on former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone for a spot in the quarterfinals on Thursday.


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Camila Giorgi ousts defending champion Roberta Vinci to reach Katowice quarterfinals

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