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Radwanska ends run of qualifier Giorgi

Agnieszka Radwanska waves to the crowd after defeating Camila Giorgi in the fourth round.
by Benjamin Snyder
Monday 2 July 2012

The No. 3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska advanced to the quarter-finals by taking out the Italian qualifier Camila Giorgi in straight sets. Playing in blustery and wet conditions on the No.2 Court, the Pole ultimately proved too consistent for her big-hitting opponent, whose powerful shots frequently sailed long. The in-form counter-puncher committed only six errors to Giorgi’s 30 in the 6-3, 6-2 victory.

“I'm just very happy that I can play another quarter-final here at Wimbledon,” said the Pole who reached the last eight here in 2008 and 2009.

Radwanska, who has a chance to claim the No.1 ranking due to Maria Sharapova’s surprise loss against Sabine Lisicki, absorbed Giorgi’s sometimes overwhelming power with deft and delicate shot-making from the start. In what at first appeared to be a routine hold for the 20-year old Italian, the only qualifier to make it to this stage this year, Radwanska’s consistency coaxed errors through guile and well-placed shots.

Down 40-30, the Pole stayed strong during a long rally, prompting her opponent to flail a forehand well past the baseline. At deuce, Giorgi floated another forehand to give Radwanska her first break point of a total of 10. Showing the confidence of a player who has succeeded on the big stages before, Radwanska secured the game when her  more inexperienced opponent – this Wimbledon marks only the fourth time she has made a main draw at tour level – double-faulted.

By the 20-minute mark, the 2008 Eastbourne winner, who has won three titles this year, raced to a 4-1 lead against the No.145-ranked Giorgi. She was, however, met with resistance when serving for the set. After the Italian hit a backhand winner down the line to take the game to 15-all, Radwanska committed the first of two double faults.

Giorgi earned a break point chance by smacking a forehand return winner, but inconsistency soon returned and Giorgi struck an error and failed to convert. Another return error brought Radwanska to her first set point, although a rare error wide meant a second deuce.

Striking a strong first serve, the Pole forced the Italian into another misplaced return to garner her second break point. With the finesse of a former champion on the lawns of the All England Club – she won the girls’ singles title in 2005 - Radwanska hit a clean forehand winner  and the set was hers in just over 30 minutes.

Down 5-2 in the second set, Giorgi showed some signs of the player who defeated the No.20 seed Nadia Petrova and the No.16 seed Flavia Pennetta en route to the last 16. With fearless shot-making, Giorgi hit a forehand cross-court winner to start the game. At 15-all, she cracked another forehand winner, followed by an unreturnable backhand to earn her third break point of the match. Unlike the previous two instances, Giorgi converted the opportunity with a powerful backhand winner at net.

Nerves soon followed for the Italian, who made it to her first Grand Slam main draw at last year’s Wimbledon. She struck three double faults in the final game, including one at match point.

Despite the straight sets defeat, Radwanska praised her opponent as a potential rising star although admitting she had “never really even saw her before’’. She added: ''I must say that she was really playing good and she's a very good player. I think she can really play good tennis and should be at the top.”

Radwanska now faces Russia’s Maria Kirilenko, who advanced to her first quarter-final appearance at The Championships. Radwanska, who is looking to make her first Grand Slam semi-final, said the match is going to be “another challenge.''

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