Qinwen Zheng made it to the final of the Palermo Ladies Open on Saturday. The second seed from China needed three sets to beat third seed Mayar Sherif 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 after three hours and a minute of play. Of the two contestants, Zheng was the one with the most aces and double faults.
She had nine aces to the Egyptian’s zero and seven double faults to the latter’s solitary number. Sherif did put in a high percentage of first serves – 78% to Zheng’s 48%. But the latter won 72% of her first-serve points to Sherif’s 51%.
The world no. 26 saved four of the eight break points she faced while converting six break points on Sherif’s serve. Zheng, however, dropped her serve only across the first two sets. In the deciding set, she saved both break points she faced while converting both break point chances she had on her opponent’s serve.
The 20-year-old finished the match with 98 points to her opponent’s 85. In the final, Zheng will play fifth seed Jasmine Paolini. The Italian ensured that there was a home player for the second consecutive year of the Italian tournament.
Paolini defeated Sara Sorribes Tormo 7-6(6), 6-0 in an hour and 49 minutes in their semi-final.
Palermo Ladies Open: Will Jasmine Paolini get the better of Qinwen Zheng?
The Spaniard was letdown by her inability to do well behind her second serve across the match.
In the first set, Paolini won 72% points on return on Sorribes Tormo’s second serve. In the second set, she won all three points played on the latter’s second serve. She also won nine of 10 points played on return on Sorribes Tormo’s first serve.
Paolini saved six of the eight break points she faced. Both break points she failed to save came in the first set. In the second set, she saved two break points. The world no. 52 also converted five of six break points on her opponent’s serve.
The Palermo Ladies Open’s the third final of Jasmine Paolini’s career. Against Qinwen Zheng, who’s made it to her second WTA final, the 27-year-old’s seeking to win the second singles title of her career. Zheng’s looking to win the first title of her career in her first trip to a WTA final in 2023.