(March 10, 2014) INDIAN WELLS – Qualifier Camila Giorgi stunned defending BNP Paribas Open champion Maria Sharapova 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 in the third round on Monday. The win marked the first time that the 22 year-old Italian ranked at 79th in the world wan a match over a top five player. For Sharapova it was her first loss to someone ranked below the top 30 since 2013 Wimbledon.
It was very far from a clean match from the Russian who committed 58 unforced errors to Giorgi’s 48 and hit 9 double-faults to the Italian’s 11. There were a total of 15 breaks of serve during the match.
“I did not play a good match at all, and, you know, I started very poorly,” Sharapova said. “Never played against her, but she’s someone that doesn’t give you much rhythm. She’s quite aggressive, but some shots she hits incredible for a long period of time. Sometimes they go off a bit.
“But, you know, if I’m speaking about my level, it was nowhere near where it should have been.”
“It was really good match,” Giorgi said. “I think so. I mean, wasn’t too consistent, but was great.”
“It was good because I was in the point in a good moment. It was really important even, but just in the third set was really important to do it, so I was happy.’
“When I’m in the court I don’t think about the crowd,” Giorgi said answering a questions about her possible nerves during the match. I just try to play my game and just keep going.
“If something, even if I miss, I just still going. I’m going my game. I don’t change it.”
Sharapova despite all of the errors, still had chances to win. At 4-4 in the final set the Russian was broken over a disputed line call. Her shot was called long and she raised her arms, which the chair umpire thought was a challenge, which showed the ball as out. Sharapova debated with the umpire and questioned who made the out call. The umpire disagreed and Sharapova was broken.
“Just because I heard the call from her box rather than from the line judge first, which wasn’t right at the beginning,” Sharapova said. “Then I asked her why that happened and she thought I challenged the ball, which I have no problem admitting if I challenged a call.
“Then she went with it and I had no challenges left. It’s not a big deal, but, I mean, I have no problem admitting if I challenged a call. I’m not sure why she wouldn’t believe me if I wasn’t challenging it actually. But I guess I was giving, you know, the hand gesture just because I had the out call from the sidelines rather than from the line judge.
“She says that the crowd has nothing to do with the match. And, yes, he did call the ball out before the line judge did, but that’s just external interference and that has nothing to do. Just have to keep playing, which is fine.
“And then she thought by doing that I was challenging the call, so…”
As for her opponent, Sharapova said: “I think if she played at this level for a consistent period of time I don’t think she’d be a qualifier here. I think that’s pretty obvious for everyone in this room.
“But that’s the thing with tennis, is that ‑‑ and I have said it so many times ‑‑ you’ve got to bring this type of tennis when you’re playing on center court or when you’re playing on Court 18. And especially when you’re just moving up and when you’re just getting that confidence and you’re playing well in Grand Slams, you’ve got to back it up.
“It’s a big challenge. It really is. Consistency is a big factor. But if she keeps it up, I mean, if she can play like that on a consistent basis, I mean, she will be a good player.”
Giorgi also commented about her consistency in order for her to be a seeded player at events down the line.
“I think so I need to keep going, to play tournaments and be more consistent, to play more, because last year wasn’t like this for problems, injury.
“But I think is more important to play many matches and get to be with these kind of matches that will help lot to my game.
“I was trying to just play my game, and maybe I accelerate more than the other set. I just play more aggressive. I think this was the point.”
Sharapova will see her ranking fall to No. 7 and possibly to No. 8 if Petra Kvitova makes the quarterfinals.
Giorgi will play countrywoman Flavia Pennetta in the round of 16.
More to follow…..