Marathon Woman Cornet Wins Katowice
Published April 13, 2014 12:14
Giorgi showed off some fighting spirit too, though. Playing in the first WTA final of her career, the Italian dropped a lengthy 69-minute first set in a tie-break and faced some pretty daunting deficits in the second set - 3-0 then later 5-3, and even two points from losing in that game - but she won four games in a row to push the match to a third set, keeping her hopes of a maiden WTA title very alive.
Cornet was the frontrunner once again for most of that third set, winning the first three games for a 3-0 lead, but an inspired Giorgi came charging back again, winning five of the next six games to go up 5-4 - she even got herself to match point in that game, with Cornet stepping up to serve at 30-40.
But a missed backhand return brought it back to deuce, and from there it was all Cornet - the No.4-seeded Frenchwoman held, broke then held at love to end it, 76(3) 57 75, and then fell to the ground.
"What a match," Cornet said afterwards. "It was definitely a huge fight, which is what I expected, and I had to save a match point to win the title, so it feels very special. I gave everything I had.
"I'm so happy I could win here at this beautiful tournament in Katowice."
At three hours and 11 minutes it was the fifth-longest match of the year. The longest match of the year so far was Maria Sharapova's three-hour, 28-minute victory over Karin Knapp at the Australian Open.
And all this a day after Cornet's massive win over Agnieszka Radwanska, her second win over a Top 4 player in the last two months - and before that she had never beaten one of the Top 4 in her career.
Giorgi had a very memorable week herself too. Before this week she had never even been to a WTA quarterfinal, let alone all the way to a final - and by beating Roberta Vinci and Carla Suárez Navarro this was just the second time she beat two Top 20 players at the same event, after Wimbledon in 2012.