PALERMO: Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit produced an aggressive display to stun top seed Petra Martic 6-2, 6-4 on Saturday as she set up a title showdown at the Palermo Ladies Open with Fiona Ferro.

Playing in her first semi-final since Stuttgart in April 2019, Kontaveit struck 31 winners and broke Martic’s serve five times.

Martic converted a break point late in the second set to move within one game of Kontaveit but a medical timeout halted her momentum.

Instead, it was Kontaveit who powered through Martic’s serve to book a place in her third claycourt final.

“I felt like a played a very good match today,” world number 22 Kontaveit said. “I was quite aggressive, consistent, and I served especially well in the first set. It got a bit close in the end, but I played a good game at 5-4 and I’m happy to be in the final.”

Ferro progressed to only her second WTA final after rallying from a set down to beat home favourite Camila Giorgi 2-6, 6-2, 7-5.

The 23-year-old Frenchwoman dashed Italian hopes for a second consecutive night, having defeated former Palermo champion Sara Errani in the quarter-finals.

Both Kontaveit and Ferro are aiming for their second WTA titles. Kontaveit’s only previous success came on grass in Rosmalen, Netherlands, in June 2017, while Ferro raised the trophy in Lausanne, Switzerland, last year.

Published in Dawn, August 10th, 2020