2021 Viking International Eastbourne

Giorgi routs final seed to seal semi-final spot

No.1 Sabalenka stunned by Eastbourne regular in thriller

Italian Camila Giorgi battled past the top seed Aryna Sabalenka to claim a remarkable Centre Court 7–6(5) 0–6 6–4 triumph in style, thanks to rumbling her opponent’s tactics in the final set.

The Belarus world no.4, who was the last seeded player left after yesterday’s day of shock, had raced into the quarter-finals despite a previously poor record on grass.

She started off at a good pace, but Giorgi — coached by her father Sergio — fought tooth and nail to force a tiebreak. The tension during the lottery of the tiebreak saw the 29-year-old make in-roads against Sabalenka and snatch the set.

But Sabalenka, whose best display on the hallowed grass at Wimbledon was winning a 1st Round match four years ago, swept past her opponent in the next set without dropping a game and appeared to be speeding away with the match.

However, Giorgi, who has always been extremely popular with fans as regular at Devonshire Park, was in no mood to concede to such an illustrious opponent and mixed up her shots to unnerve Sabalenka and her tactics.

It turned into a bitter battle of attrition in the final set, with the combativeness from hard-hitter Giorgi causing all sorts of problems for Sabalenka through a barrage of visits to the net and hitting deep winners.

In the end it was the fighting spirit from Giorgi that caused more bloodshed at Eastbourne as the very last seed in the women’s draw was dismissed.

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