2021 Viking International

Kontaveit gifted final berth after Giorgi retires

Italian qualifier concedes despite commanding brief encounter

Anett Kontaveit booked her final berth after gritty Italian qualifier Camila Giorgi, a quarter-finalist at Wimbledon three years ago, retired in the opening set when trailing 5–4.

The world no.27, who was favourite to triumph, eventually took to Centre Court at 2.20pm following rain delays, but was under the cosh for the majority of the clash.

Devonshire Park regular Giorgi, the fans’ favourite at Eastbourne for her regular appearances on the south coast, took her court time for the week to over 10 hours and looked fatigued.

But with one eye on next week’s Wimbledon, and each player having lost their serve once, Giorgi conceded defeat by citing injury.

The 29-year-old, who claimed five victories this week that included top seed and world no.4 Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, turned to her coach and father Sergio after admitting that she had to end the contest.

It was a disappointment for the unusually subdued Centre Court crowd, who had waited patiently for some top-class tennis.

Kontaveit, who during the week has seen her flaws on grass exposed, managed to save eight of the nine break points against Giorgi, with the Estonian now a most unlikely finalist. She will face either Latvian Jelena Ostapenko, a former Wimbledon semi-finalist and the 2017 French Open champion, or Kazakhstani Elena Rybakina.

Result | Kontaveit defeated Giorgi 5–4 retired

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