Camila Giorgi saved three match points in the third set tie-break to overcome Yaroslava Shvedova and become the first semi-finalist at the Topshelf Open.
The world #35 scrapped through 4-6 6-3 7-6(11) against the Kazakhstani ace in a marathon 150 minutes despite serving difficulties that resulted in 23 double faults.
Italian Giorgi made a torrid start to the contest, producing 10 double faults and struggling with her return shots.
The opening set was clinched with Shvedova reeling off five successive points and the 6-4 scoreline was extremely flattering for Giorgi.
But the normally gutsy shots from Giorgi weren’t on display in the second set either, and she lost her serve after saving two break points.
Shvedova had put all her efforts into sealing the first set and poor serves meant Giorgi took the initiative – and the net – to make it 1-1.
Games went with serve, with very few points and short rallies, until Giorgi stepped up her game and took the eighth game then served for the second set to be back on a level pegging after 79 minutes.
Both players showed dogged determination in the decisive set, Shvedova’s serves and returns were superior to her opponent who picked up points by rushing to the net.
Giorgi lost her service game to trail 3-1 but immediately broke Shvedova in a compelling contest that predictably went into a tie-break.
Both were nervous on the tie-break that resulted with nine loss of serves the match, swaying one way and another with four match points saved before Giorgi grabbed the vital match point 11-9 to progress in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.