Thu, 01 Oct 2020

Top seeded Martic reaches Palermo Open semifinal

08 Aug 2020, 06:18 GMT+10

ROME, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- Top-seeded Petra Martic beat Belarussian qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3) to advance to the semifinal of Palermo Open on Friday.

The Croatian will next meet fourth-seeded Anett Kontaveit, who overcame Italian teenager Elisabetta Cocciaretto 6-1, 4-6, 6-1.

Kontaveit said she was looking forward to playing against Martic.

"I was doing fitness for a long time," the Estonian said of the break due to the coronavirus pandemic. "I started playing a lot of tennis one and half months ago."

Palermo Open is the first WTA Tour tournament following a five-month break due to the COVID-19.

Players and officials for the tournament are being tested every four days for COVID-19 and one player who tested positive withdrew over the weekend.

New protocols include fewer ball kids, a limited number of fans and no post-match handshakes between opponents.

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