Petra Martic and Anett Kontaveit reach Palermo Open semifinals

Croatia's Petra Martic celebrates winning her fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Estonia's Kaia Kanepi in three sets, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4, at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Sunday, June 2, 2019. (Pavel Golovkin/AP)

PALERMO, Italy — Top-seeded Petra Martic and fourth-seeded Anett Kontaveit advanced to the semifinals of the first tour-level event in five months at the Palermo Ladies Open on Friday.

Martic beat qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3) then Kontaveit defeated Italian teenager Elisabetta Cocciaretto 6-1, 4-6, 6-1.

The other semifinal will feature Fiona Ferro of France against local favourite Camila Giorgi of Italy.

Ferro eliminated two-time Palermo champion Sara Errani 6-4, 6-1; and Giorgi saved two match points in the second set before rallying past seventh-seeded Dayana Yastremska 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3 after nearly three hours.

Martic was coming off a three-set win a day earlier.

"I had two tough matches and my body’s holding up well," Martic said. "I have no major issues ? just maybe soreness that I’m sure we all have in the first tournament back.

"It feels nice to be reminded of how it feels to be that kind of tired. But all in all I’m happy. I had some good weeks of practice and it’s paying off."

Kontaveit said she was looking forward to facing Martic.

"I was doing fitness for a long time," Kontaveit said of the break due to the coronavirus pandemic. "I started playing a lot of tennis 1 1/2 months ago."

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.