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Martic, Kontaveit to meet in Palermo semi

Petra Martic and Anett Kontaveit are the last two seeds standing at the Palermo Ladies Open.

The first final four of the WTA’s recently resumed 2020 season is set. Petra Martic and Anett Kontaveit set up a Palermo Ladies Open semi-final clash with hard-fought wins on Friday, while Italy’s Camila Giorgi and France’s Fiona Ferro also moved through.

Top seed Martic battled past qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich 7-6 (5) 7-6 (3) in their quarter-final.

The 15th-ranked Croatian converted four of seven break points and saved seven of 11 to advance at the WTA International event, which marks the first tournament back after the coronavirus-enforced break.

Martic will meet fourth-seeded Kontaveit, who beat teenage wildcard Elisabetta Cocciaretto 6-1 4-6 6-1.

Unseeded pair Camila Giorgi and Fiona Ferro will meet in the other semi-final.

Giorgi got past seventh seed Dayana Yastremska 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 after saving two match points with Yastremska serving at 5-4 in the second set. The Italian hit seven aces and eked out the victory in two hours and 52 minutes, while Ferro brushed past Italian veteran Sara Errani 6-4 6-1.

Ferro, ranked 53, has been in good form this summer. She went 10-0 at a series of French exhibitions and recorded wins over Kristina Mladenovic and Alizé Cornet.

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