After what has been an entertaining week of tennis so far at the WTA Palermo Ladies Open, the first tour-level event since February, just four women remain in contention for the title in the Sicilian capital. But who will advance to Sunday’s final?
WTA Palermo Ladies International Semifinal Predictions
Petra Martic vs Anett Kontaveit
Head-to-head: Martic 1-0 Kontaveit
Petra Martic has enjoyed a solid week so far in Palermo. The top seed, who is looking for the second WTA title of her career after winning the Istanbul Cup during her career-best 2019 season, opened her campaign with a comprehensive straight-sets win over Alison Van Uytvanck, losing just three games to the Belgian. She backed that up by rallying past a spirited Liudmila Samsonova, 5-7 6-4 6-2, before reaching the last four courtesy of a 7-6 7-6 win over the Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
Anett Kontaveit, seeded fourth in Palermo, started her tournament in similarly convincing fashion, beating Patricia-Maria Tig of Romania 6-3 6-3 in the first round. However, she has had to work hard for her wins since. In the round of 16, she lost the first set to Laura Siegemund, but came back strongly to claim a 3-6 6-2 6-2 win. Kontaveit was again taken the distance in the quarterfinals by a battling Elisabetta Cocciaretto, but ultimately advanced a 6-1 4-6 6-1 winner.
This will be the second meeting between the pair, with Martic running out a 7-6 6-1 winner earlier this year in the quarterfinals in Dubai. In that match, Martic was ultimately able to grind the Estonian down with some excellent court-coverage, whilst also denying her opponent the chance to dominate from the baseline with well-timed forays to the net. And with Martic at her best on the clay, if the Croatian can once again manage to blend defensive resilience with all-court tennis, it should be enough to see her into the final.
Prediction: Martic in 3
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Fiona Ferro vs Camila Giorgi
Head-to-head: first meeting
Fiona Ferro arrived in Palermo having won all ten of the exhibition matches she played during the break in the season and she has carried that fine form into the WTA Palermo Ladies Open. She began her week with a dominant 6-1 6-2 win over the Argentinian qualifier Nadia Podoroska and backed that up with a 7-5 6-2 win over eighth seed Ekaterina Alexandrova in the round of 16. Ferro then secured her place in the quarterfinal by dismissing the veteran Sara Errani for the loss of only five games.
Camila Giorgi, meanwhile, has battled hard to secure her place in the semifinals. The Italians temperament has not always matched her talent, but she has played some fine tennis under pressure this week. In the first round, she scored an excellent straight-sets win over Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson, before rallying from a set down to beat Kaja Juvan. She then came back from the brink to beat sixth seed Dayana Yastremska, saving two match points in a 4-6 7-6 6-3 win.
However, her last two wins have almost certainly come at the cost of significant physical and mental exertion. That is particularly true of her win over Yastremska, which did not finish until nearly 1:30 am local time. That may well leave her short of energy when she steps on to court against the in-form Ferro, who is yet to drop a set in Palermo. In a match where there looks to be little between the two players, that could well prove to be decisive.
Prediction: Ferro in 3
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