30 December 2018

Camila Giorgi - tennis player

Italian No 1 who specialises in beating big names


Camila Giorgi has risen to No 26 in the world following a successful 2018 season
Camila Giorgi has risen to No 26 in the world
following a successful 2018 season
The tennis player Camila Giorgi, currently the highest-ranked Italian in the female world rankings, was born on this day in 1991 in Macerata, a city in the Marche region.

Giorgi, the Italian No 1, rose to 26 in the latest Women’s Tennis Association world rankings, her highest position to date. There is no other Italian woman in the top 100.

This has been a breakthrough year for Giorgi in that she reached the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam event for the first time, at the Wimbledon Championships in London in June.

Giorgi was not seeded but after defeating 21st seed Anastasija Sevastova in the first round, she advanced through her section of the draw with three more victories, culminating in a straight-sets win over former world No 8 Ekaterina Makarova in the fourth round.

That earned Giorgi a last-eight meeting with seven-times Wimbledon champion and world record grand slam winner Serena Williams.  Giorgi won the first set but Williams fought back to win the match.

Earlier in the 2018 summer, Giorgi had delivered her best performance at the French Open by reaching the third round. Later in the year, she won her second career WTA tournament, the Linz Open in Austria.

Giorgi has an excellent record in matches against top players and commentators believe her best years are still to come
Giorgi has an excellent record in matches against top players
and commentators believe her best years are still to come
Although Giorgi has never beaten Serena Williams in four encounters, she has an unusually good record against top players.

In the course of her career, Giorgi has beaten former World No 1 players Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, Caroline Wozniacki, GarbiƱe Muguruza and Karolina Pliskova, double Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, two French Open champions in her fellow Italian Francesca Schiavone and Jelena Ostapenko, another Wimbledon winner in Marion Bartoli and three US Open champions in Samantha Stosur, Italy’s Flavia Pennetta and Sloane Stephens.

Giorgi was born to Argentinian parents of Italian descent. Her parents are Claudia Gabriella Fullone, a fashion designer who designs her daughter’s tennis clothes, and Sergio Giorgi, who is her full-time coach. In 1982, Sergio was drafted into the army of Argentina and fought against the British in the Falklands War.

She is one of four children. Her older brother Leandro is studying to be an actor, and younger brother Amadeus is a promising footballer. Sadly, their older sister, Antonela, was killed in a road accident while the family were living in Paris in 2011. They now live at Tirrenia, a resort near Pisa.

Giorgi reached the quarter-finals at the  Wimbledon Championships in 2018
Giorgi reached the quarter-finals at the
Wimbledon Championships in 2018
Giorgi, who was given a placement at Nick Bollettieri’s tennis academy in Florida when she was eight, made her professional debut at the age of 15. She won the first of her five International Tennis Federation tournaments in August 2008.

Her first appearance at a Grand Slam tournament came in 2011, when she won through qualifying to make the draw at Wimbledon. She lost her first-round match, but reached the fourth round at Wimbledon the following year, advancing to the same stage at the US Open in 2013, defeating former world No 1 Wozniacki along the way.  She made the third round at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2015, during which she scored her first WTA title in Rosmalen, in the Netherlands.

At the age of 27, Giorgi has been regularly praised for the power of her hitting and the quality of her ground strokes, but has also attracted comment, not always favourable, for posting glamorous images of herself on her social media accounts and for not yet fulfilling her potential on the court.

However, her progress has not been helped by problems with a shoulder injury.

Moreover, the age at which tennis players achieve success has changed. Teenage prodigies are no longer common. Giorgi’s age is now the average for female players in the top 50.

Also, Italian players are typically late developers. Her fellow Italians Schiavone and Pennetta won Grand Slam titles in their late twenties or early thirties.  When Pennetta won the US Open in 2015 she was 33, defeating 32-year-old compatriot Roberta Vinci in the final.


Queues at the entrance to the Arena Sferisterio, which hosts a month-long summer opera festival in Macerata
Queues at the entrance to the Arena Sferisterio, which
hosts a month-long summer opera festival in Macerata
Travel tip:

Camila Giorgi’s home city of Macerata is in an inland area of Marche, about 48km (30 miles) south of Ancona and 30km (19 miles) from the coastal town of Civitanova Marche. Not a well-known tourist destination, it nonetheless has a charming hilltown feel, with a maze of narrow cobblestone streets and one of Italy’s oldest universities, dating back to 1290. It is the setting each summer for a month-long opera festival at the atmospheric Arena Sferisterio, which has attracted some of the world’s biggest stars.

Hotels in Macerata from Hotels.com

The Tuscan seaside resort of Tirrenia, where Camila Giorgi now lives, is surrounded by pine forests
The Tuscan seaside resort of Tirrenia, where Camila Giorgi
now lives, is surrounded by pine forests 
Travel tip:

Tirrenia, situated about 20km (12 miles) from the city of Pisa, is an elegant resort surrounded by pine forests. Known for its wide, sandy beaches and clear water, it is well equipped with sports facilities and is a centre for leisure sailing and spearfishing. The forest areas offer walks and cycle paths and has a protected area, the Tirrenia Dune Oasis, which is managed by the Worldwide Fund for Nature as home to a many varieties of flora and fauna and one of the last dune environments in Italy.

Find a hotel in Tirrenia with TripAdvisor

More reading:

How Francesca Schiavone became the first Italian woman to win a Grand Slam

The talent that helped doubles star Sara Errani hit No 5 in singles rankings

The unique achievement of Adriano Panatta 

Also on this day:

39AD: The birth of Roman emperor Titus

1572: The death of architect Galeazzo Alessi

1962: The birth of politician Alessandra Mussolini


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