After a week full of upsets, comeback wins and plenty of thrilling tennis, just two women are still standing at the WTA Palermo Ladies Open. But will it be Anett Kontaveit or Fiona Ferro who claims the first title since the season resumed after the pandemic–enforced break?
WTA Palermo Ladies Open Final Prediction
Anett Kontaveit vs Fiona Ferro
Head-to-head: Kontaveit 1-0 Ferro
In what was on paper the toughest hurdle in her path to the final, Anett Kontaveit made light work of top seed Petra Martic to book her spot in the championship match at the Palermo Ladies Open. The Estonian delivered an excellent performance, albeit against an injured opponent, with Martic playing with heavy strapping on her upper right leg. In the end, the top-seeded Martic could only stand and watch as Kontaveit hammered a total of 31 winners.
Kontaveit did lose focus serving for the match up 6-2 5-3, allowing Martic a route back into the match. But Kontaveit slammed that door shut in the very next game, breaking back immediately to end the match and secure her spot in the final. As an added bonus, Kontaveit’s semifinal win will see her return to the world’s top 20 and, if she can get over the line in Sunday’s final, she could rise as high as world #14, which would equal her career high.
Standing between her and the title will be Fiona Ferro. The Frenchwoman arrived in Palermo in good form after winning all ten of the exhibition matches she played whilst the season was suspended. And she has maintained that fine form at the WTA Palermo Ladies Open, reaching the last four without dropping a set. That saw her claim victories over the highly talented Argentine Nadia Podoroska in her opener before she beat the eighth-seeded Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova.
Her win over Alexandrova was just the second top 30 win of her career, but Ferro did not rest on her laurels. Instead, she dismissed the challenge of Sara Errani, who reached the French Open final in 2012 and has twice won the title in Palermo. Ferro backed that up by edging out home hope Camila Giorgi in the last four. Despite losing the first set, Ferro rallied in impressive fashion to secure a hard-fought 2-6 6-2 7-5 win and reached her second tour-level final.
Kontaveit is the more experienced of the pair and has played at the top level for quite some time. The 24-year-old enjoyed a Grand Slam breakthrough at this year’s Australian Open when she reached the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam for the first time. She has been hitting the cover off the ball this week on her way to the final, but Ferro may well be able to match her in power from the baseline. Indeed, the Frenchwoman has the quality to make life uncomfortable for the world #22.
Ferro is almost certainly a better player than her ranking of 53rd in the WTA standings suggests and she has played well on clay throughout her career. Last year, she won her first and thus far only career title on the surface in Lausanne and she has recorded over 50% of her career wins on the surface, granted most of those coming at ITF level. Expect a tightly contested final, but for Ferro’s greater comfort on the clay to be the difference.
Prediction: Ferro in 3
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