Camila Giorgi will face Swedish qualifier Rebecca Peterson in the final of the Akron Merida Open on Sunday. Ranked No.68, the 31-year-old Italian defeated No.4 seed Katerina Siniakova 7-5, 7-6(2) in the semifinals to advance to her 10th career final and first since winning Montreal in 2021.
Giorgi has enjoyed a dominant week in Merida. She has not lost a set through her four matches, which included a 6-0, 6-0 win over No.2 seed Sloane Stephens in the quarterfinals. The victory was Giorgi's first double-bagel victory of her career.
On Saturday night, Giorgi flustered Siniakova with her confident power game and clutch play, coming back from 4-2 down in the opening set to take it 7-5. She overpowered the reigning doubles No.1 to build a 7-5, 5-2 lead, but Siniakova took advantage of a dip in the Italian's level to force a tiebreak. Giorgi responded by playing a clean and measured tiebreak to halt the Czech's momentum and seal the win after 2 hours and 11 minutes.
Giorgi finished the match with 25 winners to 23 unforced errors, outpacing Siniakova's 17 winners to 33 unforced errors. She extended her head-to-head to 3-1 over Siniakova and has now won their last three encounters.
Peterson became the fourth qualifier to advance to a Hologic WTA Tour final this season after rallying from 4-0 down in the final set to win the last six games against Caty McNally, winning 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-4. On Sunday, the 27-year-old is bidding to become the second qualifier to win a title this year (Lauren Davis, Hobart) and add a third title to her career haul.
After dominating from the baseline in the opening set, Peterson found herself mired in an uphill battle in the third set after McNally forced a deciding frame. With her intelligent all-court game, McNally built a 4-0 lead and looked on the verge of booking a place in her first WTA final.
But Peterson found the power game that delivered her the first set just in time. Pounding her forehand from the baseline, Peterson roared back to win the last six games of the match to close out the match after 2 hours and 47 minutes.
Peterson reached a career-high No.43 in 2019, a season that saw her capture two titles. But after being derailed by injury last season, the Swede has enjoyed a resurgent week in Merida, where she has notched wins over Lyon champion Alycia Parks and top seed and Australian Open semifinalist Magda Linette.
Giorgi holds the head-to-head edge over Peterson, having won both of the completed matches. Their last meeting came at 2020 Palermo, with Giorgi winning 7-5, 6-4. A victory on Sunday would deliver a fourth career title to the Italian.