Kasatkina prevails in a hit match
The draw of WTA 250 Palermo Ladies Open has paired up two names, who have set up an absolute top clash of the opening round, as the top seed Daria Kasatkina faced a home crowd's favorite and well-known clay courts specialist, Martina Trevisan. The Russian, who can come back into world's top 10 in case of reaching out the final in Palermo, opened the match really well by a confident win in first set and quickly moving up into lead in second one. Kasatkina was leading 2-1 with a break and defended breakpoints in two following serving games, which moved her close to a comfortable straight set win. The Russian had a first good chance in 9th game, producing a matchpoint during Trevisan's service game, but the Italian cleared out the danger. This has clearly gave the wind into sails of the Italian, who broke her opponent into love in the following game and leveled the score. Trevisan has also dominated a tiebreak, winning by 7-2 and moving the match into whole distance. Kasatkina showed a good resilience though, as she regrouped herself really well after an upset from the decisive moments of second set and dominated the third one by creating a bagel in 30 minutes and winning whole the thing by 6-3 6-7(2) 6-0.
Perfect start for Zheng
The entrance into field of competitors in Palermo by getting a late wild-card was quite a surprising move from Qinwen Zheng, who very rarely plays in the WTA 250 events. The trip into Italy was seemingly a good move by the Chinese, who broke herself through after 4 consecutive losses in a stunning way. Zheng defeated Sara Errani by 6-0 6-0, giving her opponent just no chance to take up the fight during the 58 minutes of play. Zheng has completely overplayed her opponent by hitting 28 winners during the course of this short match. The post-match stats by Errani were quite unusual, as she had a positive ratio from a really low numbers like 3 winners to just 1 unforced error (which was a double fault). This match was a one woman show, which the experienced Italian had just no response for. These are really tough days for Errani, who suffered 0-6 1-6 lose to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, just 3 days ago in the quarters of WTA 125 event in Contrexeville.
Sherif performes a great comeback win in thriller
Mayar Sherif got a shaky luck in a draw by facing Jessica Bouzas Maneiro in the opening round. The Spaniard approached the match against tournament's third seed just two days after winning the ITF's clay event in Rome. Being in a good and winning form helped Maneiro to overplay Sherif in the opening phases of this match, as she won the first set by 6-3 and built up the double-break gap by moving up into 3-0 in second set. The Egyptian did not give up though and came back from this difficult position to force the second set's tiebreak, where she prevailed by 8-6 after an intense fight. Whole the second set lasted as long as 85 minutes, but the decider was no less tight battle. Both players traded 4 breaks during the last set, where Sherif finally prevailed to close the match after 3:16 hours with a great comeback victory, winning by 3-6 7-6(8) 7-5.
Paolini stops the winning strike of Rus
Arantxa Rus approached Palermo during the run of 15 consecutive wins on clay, just after winning the title in WTA 125 challenger in Contrexeville on Sunday. This excellent series got stopped though, as Jasmine Paolini defeated the Dutch in the opening round, winning by 6-4 5-7 6-2 in an interesting three-setter. It was not a good round for the players, who came to Palermo after winning the titles during last weekend. Olga Danilovic won the WTA 125 Nordea Open in Bastad. The Serbian was scheduled to play against Lucrezia Stefanini, but the Italian withdrew just before the match, which opened a chance for a lucky-loser, the world's number 353 - Sofya Lansere. Danilovic was surely a favorite there, especially considering her run of 14 wins out of last 15 matches on clay, but the Nordea Open champion was struggling with an injury this time and pulled out of the match in pain after surprisingly losing the opening set against Lansere by 3-6.
Mixed feelings for the hosts
The home crowd was surely counting for a good run of their favorites, as the group of eight Italians was representing the hosts, including the players who do really well on clay in general. Just three of them moved into second round, though. Apart from Paolini, Nuria Branaccio prevailed in the battle of qualifiers, winning over Tessah Andrianjafitrimo by 6-3 6-4. Camilla Rosatello made a good use of her wild card, performing a notable upset over Viktorija Golubic. Rosatello defeated the Swiss with a crushing score 6-1 6-1 despite being rated as a pre-match underdog with an odd 4.59.