Timea Babos was put up against Camila Giorgi in the first round of the Aegon International on Sunday morning. This was the pair's first meeting, and both of the power players seemed to have settled in nicely under the cloudy conditions.
Both players made strong starts, as neither player was broken until the ninth game. And that break proved vital to the first set as Babos took it 6-4 in 45 minutes. The second set was definitely different than the first, as the pair traded breaks left and right until finally they forced a tiebreaker, which Babos won easily to win the set as well as the match.
Babos breaks at right time to win tight first set
The 24-year-old Giorgi started out proceedings with a hold to love and then found herself with a break point on the Babos serve right away. But the Italian couldn't capitalize on her opportunities as Babos won three straight points to save the break point and tie the score up at 1-1. Babos then recovered greatly as she then found herself 40-15 up on Giorgi's next service game. The Italian, though, did not give in as she also saved a couple of breaks points to eventually win the game.
The Hungarian responded with a hold of serve of her own, utilizing her forehand and big serve to get free points. The two then had a marathon game on Giorgi's serve, in which Babos earned herself four break points. The 24-year-old, however, held strong and saved all break points with her powerful and strong game to make the score 3-2 in her favor. Each player then held serve for the next three games, neither giving their opponent the chance to break.
Serving at 4-4, Giorgi started to feel the pressure against her higher-ranked opponent, and Babos used that to her advantage as multiple unforced errors came from the Italian, allowing Babos to break on her third attempt. The 23-year-old then raced ahead to 40-0 on her serve to set up three set points. She then won the set on her second attempt, another characteristic Giorgi error gifting Babos the opening set 6-4 after exactly 45 minutes of play.
Babos holds off Giorgi to win match in tiebreaker
The Hungarian looked to be carrying the momentum into the second set as she raced to two break points on Giorgi's service game. On her second attempt, she broke the Italian for the second time straight to already get up a break in the second set. She didn't sustain the momentum, though, and Giorgi broke the 23-year-old straight back as she was seemingly starting to find her placement. The streak didn't go a lot longer for the Italian, though, as Babos dropped just one point in breaking Giorgi back for the third time in a row for a 2-1 lead.
The streak of breaks continued in the second set as Giorgi continued to make fantastic returns off of Babos's serve, and eventually broke the Hungarian again to level the score at 2-2. They both then held their own service games easily, as they tied the score at 3 games apiece without either facing a break point. Babos, however, was playing great tennis, and again broke Giorgi with strong play for a 4-3 lead.
It then looked as if the 23-year-old was going to consolidate the break as she earned herself multiple game points on her serve. But Babos tightened up on her game points, and the 66-ranked player took full control into breaking the Hungarian again to tie the score at 4-4. Each player then held serve easily for the next four games, neither of them attacking the serve as they had in the earlier stages of the second set, to force a tiebreaker.
It was 24-year-old who got the early lead, as she broke Babos for a 2-1 lead. She could not maintain the advantage, though, as she sailed a forehand long to give the mini-break straight back to her opponent. From then on it was all Babos as she won three points in a row to make the score 5-2 in her favor. The Italian held Babos off as much as she couldn't but Giorgi just couldn't handle her deep, powerful shots. Another great serve from the Hungarian won her the tiebreaker and the match, 6-4 7-6(3) in one hour and 46 minutes.
Next up for Timea Babos in the second round of the Aegon International is fifth-seeded Czech Petra Kvitova, who got a bye into the second round. These two have never met, and the match will be interesting as both players hit very powerful shots and dictate with their aggressive game style.