The top seed Petra Martic is through to the second WTA semi-final of the season, prevailing against Aliaksandra Sasnovich 7-6, 7-6. The encounter lasted two hours and 18 minutes and the Croat had the upper hand in the pivotal moments to beat the Belarusian for the fourth time in five matches.
Petra won eight points more than Aliaksandra, fending off seven out of 11 break chances and earning four breaks from seven opportunities. They both served well in the opening eight games and it was Sasnovich who grabbed the first break at 4-4, serving for the set in game ten.
Martic broke back at 15 to stay in touch, repelling three break chances in game 11 and wasting a set point on the return at 6-5 to reach a tie break. There, Petra prevailed 7-5 with two mini-breaks, gathering boost ahead of set number two.
The Croat kicked off the second set with breaks in games one and five, forging a 4-1 advantage and marching towards the finish line. Instead of that, Sasnovich bounced back, saving three match points at 4-5 to level the score, with back-to-back breaks in games 11 and 12 for another tie break.
Martic clinched it 7-3 with four mini-breaks to seal the deal and advance into the semis. The 4th seed Anett Kontaveit needed an hour and 54 minutes to dismiss the young Italian Elisabetta Cocciaretto 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 for the first semi-final since April last year.
The Estonian got broken three times in the second set, dominating the first and third with a rock-solid performance on both serve and return to march into the next round. Cocciaretto gave her best to stay in touch, although it wasn't to be for her after taking only 13 points on the return in sets one and three, unable to follow Kontaveiut's pace and propelling the Estonian towards the clash against Petra Martic.
Fiona Ferro was the quarter-finalist in Palermo a year ago, going one step forward following a dominant 6-4, 6-1 triumph over Sara Errani in an hour and 28 minutes.
Camila Giorgi trailed 6-4, 5-3 against Dayana Yastremska, saving two match points.
Serving at 71%, Errani couldn't do much with her initial shot, dropping 60% of the points and getting broken six times from ten chances offered to Ferro.
From 3-1 down in the first set, the French player claimed 11 of the last 12 games to topple the opponent and sprint into the semis. Camila Giorgi is the last Italian standing in Palermo, saving two match points against the 7th seed Dayana Yastremska in a 4-6, 7-6, 6-3 triumph.
It was the final match of the day, lasting almost three hours and finishing just before 1:30 am local time! Giorgi won five points more than Yastremska, trailing 6-4, 5-3 before performing a comeback. Serving for the victory at 5-4 in set number two, Dayana wasted two match points, suffering a break and dropping the tie break 7-5.
With the momentum on her side, Giorgi claimed the final four games of the decider from 3-2 down, crossing the finish line and staying on the title course.