There would be a blockbuster first-round match at the Australian Open after 12th seed Timea Bacsinszky would open against former top 30 player Camila Giorgi on the second day of action here in Melbourne. The Swiss enter the match not having a single match under her belt due to a left abdominal injury that caused her to withdraw from the Shenzhen Open. Coincidentally, her original first round opponent was supposed to be Camila Giorgi. Without any match practice, it would be hard to gauge the level of her tennis since no one knows her fitness level and the severity of her injury. Whereas Giorgi would be very solid if she were to have a great day, her inconsistency also means she would be making tons of unforced errors and everything would go wrong for her if she were to have a bad day. This match was tipped to be the most unpredictable one and was one of the must-see matches. It turned out to be in the favour of the higher-ranked player as Bacsinszky had to battle for 150 minutes before triumphing in three sets.
Bacsinszky steals the first set
Giorgi started the match on the worst possible note with three backhand errors, gifting the first break of the match in the opening game of the match to Bacsinszky who managed to earn the early advantage. Known for her aggressive style of play, Giorgi had two break points to break back immediately after hitting some strong forehand winners. However, Bacsinszky managed to force errors out of Giorgi to hold her serve and consolidate the break of serve to affirm her lead. The Italian got back level soon after as she broke back at 1-2 with Bacsinszky struggling to handle Giorgi’s fast pace.
Giorgi’s celebrations were short-lived, though, as the Swiss broke once more to regain the lead as four unforced errors cost greatly for the Italian. Bacsinszky once again took advantage on yet another unforced error by Giorgi and consolidated the break to lead 4-2. Giorgi did not seem affected by the deficit on the scoreboard as she held her serve comfortably to keep herself in the set. Bacsinszky showed that the lack of match practice over the past few weeks did not matter as she held serve again to put herself just one game away from winning the first set. Serving to stay in the set, Giorgi did not show any nerves and dutifully held her serve to keep her chances of winning the first set alive. The Italian crushed her own hopes in the next game as she hit, what was her 16th unforced error of the first set alone, on a set point that gifted Bacsinszky the first set after 40 minutes.
Giorgi fights back
The Italian had an encouraging start to the second set after she held her serve to love in the opening game of the set. Bacsinszky had a chance to go up by a set and a break soon after at 1-1, but Giorgi maintained her composure to save the break point and hold her serve to prevent herself from falling behind an early break. Bacsinszky would rue the missed opportunity as she was broken to love immediately in the next game, which saw Giorgi gain the momentum and confidence needed for her. The Italian managed to consolidate the break of service with another hold of service which extended her lead to 4-1. Bacsinszky looked to regain the momentum as she broke back to level the second set. The Swiss failed to keep up the momentum as she was broken straight in the following game and that gave Giorgi the chance to serve out the second set and make the match level. She did just that but had to do it the hard way after saving five break points in a marathon 13-minute game.
Bacsinszky runs out to early lead but gets pegged back
The former top 10 Swiss player earned the early advantage in the final set as she jumped to a service break after Giorgi was just handing out unforced errors. Similar to the first set, Giorgi got back level soon as she broke back immediately after some poor play by the Swiss. Bacsinszky was able to overpower Giorgi with her own offensive style of tennis as she forced errors out of the Italian once again to hold serve. Infamous for her hit or miss game style, Giorgi blasted four unforced errors in the following game to put herself in a dangerous position after falling 4-2 behind. Bacsinszky edged closer to the victory as she held her serve to consolidate the break and put her just one game away from the win. Giorgi served to stay in the match, and this time she held her serve comfortably without any problems.
Giorgi started to look like a comeback was in her sights as she broke back to get the final set back on serve and give her a real chance of being victorious. Falling behind 0-30 while serving to stay in the match again, Giorgi forced three consecutive errors out of Bacsinszky to hold her serve and level the scores at 5-5. The Italian almost took the lead and was a whisker away from taking the lead for the first time in the final set but she failed to capitalize on her two break point opportunities and allowed Bacsinszky to hold serve. Unforced errors once again proved costly as she hit six of them to gift the match to the Swiss after two hours and 30 minutes.
Next up for Bacsinszky
The Swiss former top 10 player would now face Danka Kovinic in the second round. Kovinic defeated Zheng Saisai in the opening round and she is a very dangerous opponent who definitely has the ability to create an upset. With this win, Bacsinszky would definitely gain confidence having been hampered by injury problems at the start of the year and should be able to get to the third round.