Unseeded Italian Camila Giorgi has won the National Bank Open in Montreal, beating No. 4-seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 7-5 in the final on Sunday.
Giorgi, ranked No. 71 in the world, won the title in her first-ever appearance in a WTA 1000 final.
The 29-year-old Italian used her speed and athleticism to edge the world No. 6, winning 71 per cent of her first service points and hitting seven aces.
Giorgi secured the win with a break point, her fourth of the match, and tears welled in her eyes as she stood on the court.
Later on Sunday, No. 1-seed Daniil Medvedev will take on American qualifier Reilly Opelka at the men’s championship in Toronto.
Ottawa’s Gabriela Dabrowski and doubles partner Luisa Stefani of Brazil will also play for a title Sunday when they take on Croatia’s Darija Jurak and Andreja Klepac of Slovenia.
Sunday’s win capped a stunning run for Giorgi at the National Bank Open.
The Italian took out No. 9-seed Elise Mertens in the first round, dispatched Petra Kvitova, the No. 7 seed, in the round of 16, and beat No.-15 seed Cori Gauff in the quarterfinals.
A mammoth nine-minute game midway through the first set Sunday swung the match’s momentum.
Pliskova faced a break point after sending a shot into the net and got the save, only to see Giorgi repeatedly win the point back. The Italian eventually got the break to go up 4-3. Pliskova responded by throwing her racket to the court.
After having her serve broken, Pliskova missed a number of returns and double faulted to set up a double-break point and potential set point. She saved the first with a massive serve, then sent a return out of play, giving Giorgi a 6-3 win.
It was the first set Pliskova had lost since the tournament’s second round when she went down 6-4 to Croatia’s Donna Vekic en route to a three-set victory.
Giorgi was the one showing her frustration in the second set, though, tossing her racket into the net after sending a shot wide.
She forced Pliskova into a break point on the next point, winning it and going up 3-1 when the Czech player missed a return.
Giorgi was broken right back in the next game following back-to-back double faults.
A missed Pliskova forehand gave Giorgi a chance for the match point, but Plisova got the save when Giorgi sent a return into the net. Giorgi didn’t miss her second opportunity and broke her opponent to take the set 7-5.