Camila who? 10 things to know about tennis's new poster girl Camila Giorgi
Not many had heard or seen 21-year-old Italian Camila Giorgi before she took to the Arthur Ashe Stadium on Saturday night against the former world no. 1 Caroline Wozniacki.
But for die-hard tennis fans, who scourge the internet for news and matches from the outer fringes of the sport, Giorgi is not an unknown figure.
One tennis expert called her “The Best Player to be Ranked 130″, while another tweeted “Giorgi, a cult tennis icon online, goes mainstream tonight.”
Giorgi is through to the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time, and she meets fellow Italian Roberta Vinci, the no. 10 seed, on Monday. And while we cheer her on, here’re 10 things to know about tennis’s new poster girl –
1. Giorgi is currently ranked no. 136 in the world. She peaked at no. 73 in the rankings earlier this year in February. She will move back into the top 80 in the rankings next week and will reach a new career-high ranking if she beats Vinci on Monday.
2. The US Open is her first event since Wimbledon due to a shoulder injury. She reached the third round of Wimbledon in June. Prior to this US Open, her record at Wimbledon was 5-3 and at the other Slams, 0-3.
3. She is coached by her father Sergio, who fought in the Falklands War. Sergio attracts a lot of attention himself for his animated cheering for Camila during her matches.
Darren Cahill tweeted during the match:
Not sure what performance I enjoyed more…. Camila's or Sergio's? Either way, the Giorgi's rocked tonight!! Great effort.
— Darren Cahill (@darren_cahill) September 1, 2013
4. As a child, Giorgi was into artistic gymnastics. When she was around 5 years old, she saw her older brother play and immediately wanted to join as well, taking a quick liking to the sport.
5. Growing up, her favourite players to watch were American legends Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras – “I really liked to watch the matches of Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras. I have a lot of good memories watching them play each other when I was younger. Actually, my game used to be a lot like Agassi, but my dad taught me how to go to the net, to anticipate and to try to use the whole court.”
6. Adriano Panatta, one of the greatest Italian tennis players of all time, said this about her, “It’s the first time I play a girl who plays like Andre Agassi.”
In the year 2000, she was spotted by famous American coach Nick Bollettieri, who then offered her seven months of training (previously done only with Maria Sharapova).
7. In 2012, she qualified for Wimbledon for the second year in a row. There, she scored her first Slam main draw win by beating compatriot and 16th seed Flavia Pennetta in the first round.
In the second round, she beat Anna Tatishvili, and then upset 20th seed Nadia Petrova in the third. In the fourth round, she was beaten by world No. 3 Agnieszka Radwa?ska in straight sets, 6–2, 6–3.
8. In 2013, Giorgi upset Marion Bartoli in the first round in Strasbourg in May, but lost in the next round to Eugenie Bouchard. At this year’s Wimbledon Championships, she got to the third round, beating British wildcard Samantha Murray and then world no. 22 Sorana Cirstea before going down to eventual champion Bartoli 6–4, 7–5 in the third round.
9. When asked to describe her style of play, Giorgi says, “I like to attack! I play an aggressive game and like to control the point, go to the net and to take a few risks. My forehand is my favorite shot, but I think I have an all-around game.”
10. Her prize money earnings for this year before the US Open is around $190,000. Her fourth round appearance assures her of a cheque of $165,000 and if she moves into the quarter-finals, she will earn $325,000.Published 02 Sep 2013, 10:20 IST