Danielle Collins lived up to her billing as the top seed and advanced to the semi-finals of the Palermo Open on Friday. The American got past seventh seed Astra Sharma 6-1, 6-4 in an hour and 12 minutes in their quarter-final.
Collins won 71% of her first-serve points to Sharma’s 58% and 58% of her second-serve points to the latter’s meagre 21%. Collins faced four break points of which she saved two while converting five of the 11 break points, she had on the Australian’s serve. Collins wrapped up the match with nearly 20 more points than her opponent – 63 to Sharma’s 42.
This is Collins’ second straight semi-final after having reached the penultimate round of the Hungarian Grand Prix. This time, however, she’ll want to do better after having lost to Anhelina Kalinina in the semis in Budapest. For a place in the final in Italy, Collins will take on fourth seed Shuai Zhang.
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Zhang outlasted Olga Danilovic in their quarter-final clash after two hours and 36 minutes of play. The Chinese player dropped the opening set but clinched a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(2) victory.
In the first set, the players exchanged a break of serve before Danilovic secured a second break to go up in the match. In the second set, Zhang saved all four break points she faced while making good of the lone break point, she had on Danilovic’s serve. The final set saw three breaks of serve each before Zhang pulled ahead decisively in the tie-break.
In the bottom half of the draw, Elena-Gabriela Ruse will play sixth-seeded Frenchwoman Oceane Dodin for a spot in the Palermo Open final. The Romanian qualifier stopped Italian Lucia Bronzetti 6-4, 7-5 in an hour and 50 minutes in their quarter-final while Dodin ousted her compatriot, Jaqueline Cristian in a two-hour-29-minute marathon, 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-4.