No. 79 Camila Giorgi upset defending champion Maria Sharapova 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open
A 21-year-old who could pass for 14, walked through the tunnel and onto the court at New York City’s Arthur Ashe Stadium, tennis’s largest venue both physically and metaphorically. In diminishing twilight on this Saturday of Labor Day weekend, Giorgi was greeted by indifferent if polite applause from the 20,000 or so fans in the stands.
By reaching the fourth round, Giorgi boosted her ranking to No. 79 and was guaranteed $162,190, the biggest payday of her career. After match point against Wozniacki, as Sergio did a tarantella in the stands, Camila stood beaming on the court. “Hey there, Giorgi girl!” the courtside interviewer gushed. When Giorgi responded to questions with staccato answers that revealed her shaky grasp of English, it only expanded her constituency of admirers. She left to a standing ovation.
Sharapova has yet to make a final in four tournaments this year and with this loss she will drop to No. 7, her lowest ranking since the summer of 2011. She missed the last three months of the 2013 season with a shoulder injury and says she needs more matches to feel comfortable on the court.“I think the physical part of it is something that is hurting me a little bit when we’re going into these three‑set matches,” she said. “That’s not a secret for anyone. And when you skip those months, there’s nothing that gets back that match play than just going out and doing it. You can train for so many hours on end, and it just doesn’t replicate what you’re doing out there in the tournament. Of course, this doesn’t help when you only play a couple of matches at a tournament.”
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