As the seeds keep tumbling down at the WTA Palermo Ladies Open, the top seed and World No.15 Petra Martic is alive and kicking. The Croatian will headline a busy day four which will also feature an intriguing clash of styles between Dayana Yastremska and Oceane Dodin.
Who will book their places in the quarterfinals?
WTA Palermo Ladies Open Day 4 Predictions
Petra Martic vs Ludmilla Samsonova
Head-to-head: First meeting
As many as three seeds departed on Day 2 at the WTA Palermo Ladies Open, including the No.2 seen, Marketa Vondrousova.
Top seed Petra Martic, however, made a real statement of intent with a 6-0 6-3 win over Belgium’s Alison Van Uytvanck. The World No.15 completed that whitewash in just over an hour and she looked every inch of a player bidding to win a second career title this weekend.
Martic’s next assignment will come in the form of Russian qualifier Ludmilla Samsonova, for whom these are home courts of sort. The 21-year-old has actually lived in Italy since she was one year old and competed under its flag until 2018, before making the switch to Russia. Incidentally, Samsonova’s big breakthrough arrived at this very tournament last season. She reached the semifinals as a lucky loser (the first and thus far only time at WTA level) before bowing out to the eventual champion Jil Teichmann.
Samsonova’s clutch serving and controlled power from the baseline will be a test for the experienced Martic, but given how imperious the Croatian tore Van Uytvanck to shreds in her opener, it is hard to see any other result here.
Prediction: Martic in 2
Camila Giorgi vs Kaja Juvan
Head-to-head: First meeting
Camila Giorgi produced a solid win over Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson in her opening round match in what was her first outing on clay since 2018.
Giorgi fared dismally throughout 2019, playing just 30 matches and winning in 13 of them. However, it was much more about struggling with injury than form and she missed the entire clay court season last year. Depending on other results, there is a possibility she might be Italy’s sole representative in the singles draw on Thursday when she plays Slovenia’s Kaja Juvan.
The qualifier pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament so far, with a sensational comeback win against 2019 French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova. It was the 19-year-old’s first Top 20 win of her career.
Earlier this year, the young Slovenian scored a memorable victory against Venus Williams in Acapulco, saving a remarkable seven match points in the process. At last year’s Wimbledon, she took a set off Serena Williams in the second round – a further illustration of her admirable qualities. But how will she fare against the unpredictable Italian in Palermo?
Giorgi’s ability to crunch winners freely could be problematic for Juvan, and with the extra incentive of delighting the home fans, we reckon the former World No.26 will advance into the quarterfinals.
Prediction: Giorgi in 3
Anett Kontaveit vs Laura Siegemund
Head-to-head: Kontaveit 1-0 Siegemund
Anett Kontaveit made light work of Patricia Maria Tig under the lights in her opener, winning 6-3 6-3 in 94 minutes. The Estonian admitted in the post match video presser of the difficulty of transitioning from the hard courts to clay in such a short space of time. She had only recently played on the hard courts of an exhibition tournament in her home country and will take comfort on how she managed to adjust to the windy conditions on the Palermo dirt.
Next up will be the German veteran Laura Siegemund, who was among the players with the most game time during the WTA tour shutdown. Siegemund played nearly 17 matches and she barely stretched her muscles in her 6-3 6-4 win over Irina-Camelia Begu on Tuesday.
This encounter is finely poised. Both players have played some great tennis this year. Kontaveit started it on a historic note when she became the first Estonian to reach the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. Siegemund, despite not reaching those dizzying heights in Melbourne, made a pair of quarterfinals in other tournaments.
Kontaveit will have to keep the German under constant pressure and pinned back behind the baseline to limit her craftiness. But Siegemund has demonstrated over the years and particularly on clay, she can bring more to the table than drop shots and slices. Expect the 32-year-old to squeeze her way into the last eight in what should be a close contest.
Prediction: Siegemund in 3
Dayana Yastremska vs Oceane Dodin
Head-to-head: Yastremska 0-1 Dodin
Dayana Yastremska didn’t put a foot wrong in her straight sets win against Sorribes Tormo to book a second round meeting against lucky loser Oceane Dodin.
The Frenchwoman continued her 2020 upswing with a three-set victory over Tamara Zidansek. She will now be eyeing a third quarterfinal of the season, after reaching the last eight in both St. Petersburg and Lyon before the tour was temporarily suspended.
Dodin has got a great chance here. She has won a lot of matches this year and she seems to have rediscovered her old form that propelled her to a career-high ranking of World No.46 three years ago.
Prediction: Dodin in 3
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