No news is good news. We have heard that expression before. Yet, one of life’s pervasive truths isn’t necessarily true 100 percent of the time. No news can be bad news. Camila Giorgi embodies that possibility in 2019.
It is true that Giorgi has run into tough draws on the WTA Tour this year, something many talented players have to accept and live with. The new normal in women’s tennis is to face highly skilled opponents in early rounds. If players endure a series of early-round losses and can’t generate momentum within a three-month span, that’s not a flaming disaster worthy of a blaring siren and a “stop the presses” mentality. It is increasingly more common on tour.
However, it remains that if any women’s tennis player without an established reputation or identity as a top-tier player wants to move into the top tier, she will have to win those early-round matches and do what proven players regularly do: Make sure that early exits are avoided most of the time.
Players don’t even have to win titles or make finals to achieve high rankings. Ask Karolina Pliskova about that reality. Stacking quarterfinals and semifinals (before her run to the Miami final) gave her a comfortable room in the top 10 WTA mansion. Players who regularly avoid bad losses and — in the process — turn R-64 or R-32 results into quarterfinals are the ones who crack the top 10.
When Camila Giorgi made her first-ever Wimbledon quarterfinal last year and gave Serena Williams a good battle before ultimately losing, plenty of people wondered if this hit-or-miss ballstriker — so inconsistent in her overall play but consistently dangerous for nearly anyone on tour — would begin to learn how to calibrate her strokes and find the winning formula which would enable her to become a top-10 player.
It is within this context, against this backdrop, that her lack of match wins — no more than two wins in any 2019 tournament heading into European clay — is concerning.
Giorgi didn’t have piece-of-cake draw in Miami, but while Tatjana Maria is not an easy opponent to play, she also isn’t Bertens or Kerber, either. Giorgi was seeded and needed to cash in that seed by winning multiple matches and banking points to offset the possible loss of points at Wimbledon if she can’t defend her quarterfinal result. Losing to Maria makes it important for Giorgi to deliver some strong results in the clay season. If not, Wimbledon will involve even more pressure for her.
Giorgi hasn’t done much in the first three months of 2019. That happens, but it remains concerning. If she doesn’t do anything in the NEXT three months, she will genuinely be in big (or at least bigger) trouble.
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