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Wozniacki takes first win back at Eastbourne

Rudy Martinez
ANALYST
Feature
95   //    25 Jun 2018, 22:31 IST

TENNIS-GBR-ATP-EASTBOURNE
TENNIS-GBR-ATP-EASTBOURNE

Caroline Wozniacki flowed through her return to the WTA tour with simplicity against a tough opponent Monday evening. The world number two had the match well under control opening up an eight-game winning streak against Camila Giorgi to win in straight sets 6-2, 6-3 on Centre Court at the Nature Valley International at Devonshire Park. It was the third win against Giorgi on grass and a solid performance under blue skies.

The two met four times splitting wins with one another through three seasons. Two of them came on grass in which kept them even going into the second round. When it comes to Eastbourne, Wozniacki had the advantage of winning against the Italian. While Giorgi got right into the grass court season, she might have a chance at keeping the world number two on a short losing streak dating back to the round of 16 at Roland Garros. This was the first time the Dane had been in action in nearly three weeks.

It showed right away as she saw Giorgi come up with the forehand on fire hitting her way to deuce to save the serve to hold on the first break. The offence allowed her to transition well in the second were she got a break-up and two games ahead of the Dane. Wozniacki earned a critical break back on the Italian fighting hard through two breaks on deuce. She got the score levelled with her first hold in the fourth but it was projected to be a long road as Giorgi remained a relentless figure on the court. She fought from 0-40 down double-faulting twice to force deuce. While she saved four break points, the unforced errors became a struggle gifting the game win to Wozniacki who took the lead.

Consolidating with a hold in the sixth gave the world number two a four-game winning streak hitting the ball left and right to tire out the Italian. It was a triple break for the top seed of the tournament who served for the match-saving a set point to close out the set in 38 minutes with a consecutive games victory. The errors were enough to change the settings for the Italian who had the potential to get a set up.

With the advantage heavily in Wozniacki's favour, Giorgi was along for the ride until she could find a way to put a stop to it. The number one seed came out into the second set with a fourth straight break of the Italian and seven in a row to her name. She reached eight before Giorgi managed to get on the board with her first service hold since the opening game. Getting another game to follow that was trounced as she saw Wozniacki take control of her game to hold a 3-1 score.

Giorgi had to regroup in the fifth double faulting a fifth time on serve but held for a third time in the match in the hopes of making it her set to win. She continued to search for a break but Wozniacki kept her tactics alive redirecting the angles on the return during rallies to hold in the sixth. The world number two was unstoppable as she rattled the serve of Giorgi who double-faulted in the seventh giving her opponent all sorts of room to dictate her serve of the match.

Giorgi wasn’t ready to give in and attacked the game of the Dane’s to break for a third win under her belt. She attempted to keep her tournament alive serving in the ninth but double faulted an eighth time giving Wozniacki a turnaround. She got to match point on a return ball wide before a hit into the net from the Italian brought her run to an end after 1 hour and 15 minutes.

“You kinda need to get into the rhythm of the match,” Wozniacki said about returning to Devonshire Park after the match.” “I’ve been practising a lot and just took me a few games and it felt really great to be back out here.” While the match was in the hands of the former world number one the match at one point was running against her as Giorgi showed her strengths recording 23 winners to Wozniacki’s 14.

“She hits the ball very hard,” said the Dane about her opponent. “She has big serves and for me, it’s all about just waiting for that one moment when I had a small opportunity and try to get that one.” She’ll try to do that and more when she faces the winner between Alexandra Krunic and British number one Johanna Konta in the quarterfinals Wednesday.

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Rudy Martinez
ANALYST
A writer with eight years experience in sportswriting. He specializes in the National Hockey League, WTA Tennis and both summer and winter Olympic sports.
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