Unseeded Camila Giorgi creates history, bags Montreal title

Unseeded Camila Giorgi of Italy won the National Bank Open with a straight-sets defeat of fourth seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, while Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski made good on home soil along with new partner Luisa Stefani of Brazil, taking the doubles title.

Camila stormed to the biggest title of her career with a 6-3, 7-5 win over No. 4 seed Karolina Pliskova in 1 hour and 40 minutes.

This was Camila’s first career 1000-level title, her third overall, first since 2018, first above 250 level and first on outdoor hard courts. Previously, the Italian was champion at ‘s-Hertogenbosch 2015 on grass and Linz 2018 on indoor hard courts. Camila’s fine recent form has seen her overcome two notable records for her latest success: Before this year, she was 1-5 against Karolina and 2-6 in WTA finals.

The past two months have seen Camila turn her head-to-head against the Czech around in emphatic fashion. She stunned Karolina 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 in the first round of Eastbourne in June, and backed that up with a 6-4, 6-2 dismissal in the third round of the Tokyo Olympic Games. Here, she meted out Karolina’s third final defeat of 2021, following losses in Rome to Poland’s Iga Swiatek and at Wimbledon to Australia’s Ashleigh Barty.

The World No. 71 Camila upset four seeded players — No.9 Elise Mertens, No.7 Petra Kvitova and No.15 Coco Gauff as well as Karolina en route to becoming the lowest-ranked champion in Canada since No.80-ranked Serena Williams of the US took the title in 2011.

In doubles, Gabriela Dabrowski and Olympic bronze medallist Luisa Stefani cemented their newly-formed partnership, avenging their loss in the San Jose final to Darija Jurak (Croatia) and Andreja Klepac (Slovakia). Controlling the match from the beginning, the Canadian-Brazilian duo faced just four break points and were broken just once, winning 6-3, 6-4 to capture the title.

“I think we went into the match technically a lot smarter because of how it went last week,” Luisa said. “We built on things from last week. From the whole tournament, I think every match here we kept improving and kept focused on what we had to do. I think that paid off at the end.”