WTA Strasbourg: Ashleigh Barty storms past Camila Giorgi

Ashleigh Barty continued her good campaign at the Internationaux de Strasbourg, leaving only three games to Camila Giorgi, after having dropped only one in her opening match against lucky loser Cagla Buyukakcay. Barty, who had entered the main draw from qualifications, didn’t find much struggle in getting rid of the Italian, who, as also a qualified, had previously upset second seed Elena Vesnina in the first round. For the Australian, it is the third quarterfinal of the year,  after the ones in Hobart first and then Kuala Lumpur, where she had won her first WTA title.

Barty earns a crucial break and takes the lead

After an easy hold, the Australian didn’t waste time and immediately claimed the lead on her second break point. She found herself in need to defend the advantage right away, but she managed to held to keep the advantage. The Italian got another chance to break back in the sixth game, but wasted the break point with a return error. The Australian eventually prevailed after a battled game that saw her in need of multiple game points before eventually converting one.

Giorgi couldn’t allow herself any more false steps, and she played a remarkable game on serve to hold to 15. 

The Australian didn’t give her any more chances to re-open the games in the set. After losing the first point in the following game, she benefitted from some errors from her opponent and took control of the rallies to score four points in a row that granted her to win the first set, with the score of 6 games to 3. 

Barty in action in Kuala Lumpur [Photo credit: Stanley Chou/Getty Images]                        

Barty doesn’t drop any more games and claims the match

The second set started with Giorgi on serve, and the Italian once again indulged in too many errors against an opponent who could take advantage of them, and let the Australian keep her lead in the match.

Giorgi’s search of quick winners too often betrayed her, and the Australian didn’t have to face any trouble to mantain the advantage. Again 0-30 down, the Italian rallied back to 30-30, but didn’t go any further; Giorgi’s defensive forehand ended in the net on a break point, causing the Italian to fall 0-3 down.

Giorgi started aggressive in the following game to earn the first point, but couldn’t find enough consistency to keep the momentum, and on the other side of the net, her opponent didn’t gift her quick points, rallying her way to hold again.

The last two games saw a Giorgi with little self-confidence left, and with little control in her shots when taking risks. The fifth double-fault of her match gave Barty two more breaks point, and with a well-placed return shot the Australian converted the first, and went ahead serving for the match.

There was little left to try for the Italian, against an opponent in complete control of the game. Barty quickly went 40-0 up, gaining three match points. Giorgi saved the first one with a winner from the net, but another return error let her opponent convert the second one, signing the win with a final 6-3, 6-0 score line, and a second set that lasted only 24 minutes.

Giorgi in action in Shenzhen, where she had reached the semifinals [Photo credit: Zhong Zhi/Getty Images]    

With a consistent serve and a solid game on return, the Australian didn’t face big challenges against her more erratic opponent, who gave away too many gifts to Barty and failed to convert the chances she got to rally back in the first set. Despite that, the first part of the match had been far more balanced, while the second set saw Giorgi in struggle to keep the ball in in attempt to rush points.

Ashleigh Barty will face countrywoman Daria Gavrilova for a place in the semifinals. The two had never met in a WTA match before, but had already faced each other one time in the ITF Circuit in 2012, with Barty prevailing in two sets.