Two highly-seeded Czechs experienced vastly different results in the Omnium Banque Nationale round of 16 on Thursday, as No.4 seed Karolina Pliskova advanced in straight sets, while No.7 seed Petra Kvitova was upset.
Camila Giorgi was the player to take out Kvitova, as the World No.71 from Italy dispatched the 2012 Omnium Banque Nationale champion by the score of 6-4, 6-4, in an hour and 36 minutes.
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The duo had not faced off in over three years, but it is now Giorgi who has the upper hand in their hard-hitting rivalry as she has triumphed in two of their three meetings.
The powerful pair blasted rockets at each other all day, but it was Giorgi who was the cleaner of the two. Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova had one more winner in the clash, but five more unforced errors, allowing unseeded Giorgi to squeak out two close sets.
In the first set, Kvitova was cruising on serve at 1-2, leading 40-15, until Giorgi dragged forehand errors out of the Czech to turn that game around and break for 3-1. With Giorgi serving for the set at 5-3, Kvitova was able to get the break back, but pristinely-placed returns by Giorgi in the following game allowed her to break again for the one-set advantage.
The players traded breaks twice en route to 4-4 in the second set, but from there, Giorgi was commanding. The Italian held serve at love to lead 5-4, then quickly zipped to triple match point in the next game. Kvitova’s typically imposing serve could not get her out of that jam, as Giorgi converted her first match point with a brilliant backhand return winner crosscourt.
Into the Omnium Banque Nationale quarterfinals for the first time, Giorgi will face another first-time quarterfinalist at this event: No.15 seed Coco Gauff.
American teenager Gauff advanced into the last eight without hitting a ball after Johanna Konta of Great Britain withdrew from their scheduled third-round match due to a left knee injury.
Pliskova, though, maintained a Czech presence in the quarterfinals, as she defeated American qualifier Amanda Anisimova, 6-1, 7-6(8).
Former World No.1 Pliskova, who reached her second Grand Slam final at Wimbledon last month, needed an hour and 22 minutes to oust the teenager and move into the Omnium Banque Nationale quarterfinals for the third time in the last four editions.
After reeling off six games in a row to clinch the opening set, Pliskova was on a similarly sturdy path through the second set as she built a 5-2 lead. However, Anisimova, a former Top 25 player, went on a run of her own, saving a match point at 6-5 as she charged back to force a tiebreak.
In a closely-contested breaker, Anisimova saved two more match points and eventually held a set point at 8-7, but Pliskova would right herself to notch the final three points of the match and collect the win.
Next up for Pliskova will be Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain, who overcame another Czech, Katerina Siniakova, 6-7(4), 6-0, 6-3, in a round-of-16 marathon clash.
It is another sublime result on hardcourt for World No.48 Sorribes Tormo this season. The Spaniard won her first WTA singles title on the hardcourts of Guadalajara in March, and she also reached the Monterrey semifinals and quarterfinals in Abu Dhabi and Miami on the surface this year.
Siniakova took over an hour to grind out the opening set, but even a surprising squirrel invasion could not stop Sorribes Tormo in the second set as she breezed to level footing.
Sorribes Tormo broke Siniakova four times in the third set to complete her comeback victory after a grueling two hours and 50 minutes of play. Overall, the Spaniard converted 10 of her 17 break points as she controlled the final two sets to post another strong hardcourt showing.