Paula Badosa and Camila Giorgi needed three sets to advance to the second round in the late hours of Wednesday
The two late night matches that wrapped the WTA first rounds of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia had a similar plot with both the favourites, Camila Giorgi and Paula Badosa, finding themselves one set behind and in need for a late hour effort to advance. Both players managed to do so at the end of two spectacular matches.
Camila Giorgi took on the Campo Centrale after the epic match between Fabio Fognini and Andy Murray, and she probably did not want to give the spectators a lesser show. Against an inspired Arantxa Rus, the Italian had to dig deep and increase the level of her tennis after the 6-4 first set form the Dutch. Giorgi never lost her composure and allowed the support of the fans to guide her into a more accurate tennis, without losing her usual aggressiveness.
In the second set, she started taking more advantage of her attacking shots and whenever she managed to push her opponent further form the baseline, she ventured to the net and hit numerous drives to close the point. The new strategy paid off and little could Rus do to contain the power of her rival, who sealed the victory with a stunning winner 4-6 6-2 6-4.
“It is always amazing to play here in Rome, it is one of my favourite cities, I love it as it’s gorgeous”, said Giorgi after the match: “to play on home soil is a completely different experience. But to win here is even more special”.
It was an even tighter fight the one between Paula Badosa and Ana Lena Friedsam, with the German qualifier forcing the match to a tiebreak in the decider. After more than 2 hours of battle, the experience of the Spaniard paid off, as she did not let her opponent challenge her in the tiebreak that she dominated 7-2.
Following the 4-6 6-2 7-6(2) victory, the former world number 2 advanced to the second round, where she is set to play one of the most anticipated matches in the draw against last year’s finalist Ons Jabeur.