Always a dangerous foe for the game's best players, Camila Giorgi scored another big victory to open her title defense at the National Bank Open presented by Rogers.
The unseeded Italian, who came into Toronto's WTA 1000 event ranked No. 29 but on a three-match skid, knocked out No. 9 seed Emma Raducanu on Tuesday, 7-6(0), 6-2, for her 16th Top 10 victory and her seventh straight win in Canada over the last 12 months. Last year in Montreal, Giorgi bagged the biggest title of her career with six wins over players including Elise Mertens, Petra Kvitova, Coco Gauff, Jessica Pegula and Karolina Pliskova.
Giorgi's win over Pliskova in last year's final, in fact, was her last win at a WTA 1000 event before beating Raducanu. She didn't play Doha, Indian Wells or Miami this year, and lost in Round 1 in both Madrid and Rome.
Stat of the day: The 30-year-old from Macerata is something of a hard-court specialist. Eight of her 16 career wins against the world's best have now come on the surface, as have two of her three career Hologic WTA Tour singles titles.
She's won seven of her last nine matches against Top 10 opposition after having lost the previous seven.
Camila on a roll: Streaks defined Giorgi's 1-hour, 49-minute victory. Down a break three times in the opening set, she rebounded after failing to convert set point on Raducanu's serve in the 12th game by not losing a point in the tiebreak.
In the second set, she trailed 2-0, only to win six straight games. In that stretch, she won a staggering 16 straight points from 1-1, 40-30, to 5-2, 40-0. She needed her third match point, though, to wrap it up.
With her high-risk, high-reward game firing, Giorgi clobbered 31 winners and 31 unforced errors. She far out-paced Raducanu in both, as the Brit totaled just three winners and nine errors. Raducanu hit all three of her winners in the first set.
A rematch upcoming: Mertens' was Giorgi's first-round foe in her title run last year. This year, they'll meet Round 2. The Belgian took out Hungary's Anna Bondar in her opening match, 7-6(2), 6-1. Last year's 6-3, 7-5 victory was Giorgi's first win against Mertens in three tries.