WASHINGTON DC, USA - Camila Giorgi is through to her seventh career WTA final after stopping American wildcard Catherine McNally’s Cinderella run at the Citi Open, winning 7-6(5), 6-2.
The resurgent Giorgi was contesting one of the first tournaments of her comeback to action, having spent a lot of time sidelined with wrist and ankle injuries: before this week, she hadn’t won a match since the Australian Open, and competed in just three tournaments and one Fed Cup tie during that time.
But that all changed in the American capital, where she’s stormed into her first final of the year. Giorgi took down Sachia Vickery, Rebecca Peterson and Zarina Diyas on her way to the semifinals, having dropped just one set along the way.
In the semifinal, she was up against a newcomer in American wildcard McNally. The 17-year-old wildcard has impressed all week long, taking down No.4 seed Hsieh Su-Wei in the last round to earn her first career Top 50 win.
But she was ultimately outclassed by the big-hitting Italian, who struck three aces and was broken only once en route to the straight sets victory.
Giorgi got off to a fast start on Saturday, breaking early to lead 3-0, her flat, booming groundstrokes giving McNally plenty of trouble. But McNally, who likes to pepper a few forays up to the net into her game, needed only a few games to adjust before she was rallying back.
She did well to get them back on serve with a late break at 4-2, but the Italian had her running from all over the court. Under pressure, a spate of unforced errors brought the set to a swift end in the tiebreak, with Giorgi taking the lead.
After dropping the first set in such a heartbreaker, McNally struggled to bounce back in the second. Giorgi pounced on every short ball, reeling off five games in a row with a double-break to get ahead 5-1. With her back against the wall, the 17-year-old started swinging freely - and was rewarded with saving three match points to stay in the contest. But she couldn’t hold off Giorgi for long, and the Italian grabbed the fourth to seal her spot in the Washington DC final.
It’s Giorgi’s first final since last year’s Linz, where she lifted her second WTA title to close out the 2018 season. Standing in between Giorgi and a hat trick of titles will be another American, Jessica Pegula. The unseeded Pegula battled past Anna Kalinskaya, 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 earlier in the day to book her second career WTA final.
More to follow...