Pennetta One Win Away

Flavia Pennetta is one win away from defending her title, but Kaia Kanepi stands in the way.

Published July 17, 2010 12:00

Pennetta One Win Away
Flavia Pennetta

PALERMO, Italy - One player who has won numerous Sony Ericsson WTA Tour titles in her career will take on another who is very, very hungry for her first, as Flavia Pennetta and Kaia Kanepi battle it out for the Palermo crown.

Kanepi, seeded No.5, was the first of the two to advance to the final, easing past surprise semifinalist Romina Oprandi, 63 62. Oprandi, a wildcard, had taken out No.2 seed Aravane Rezai in the quarterfinals, but Kanepi was too tough in the semis, breaking her four times en route to the 75-minute win.

"The match was more difficult than the score. I was having some problems at the beginning with the heat and Romina's tennis is different from the other girls," Kanepi said. "But from 3-all in the first set I got the lead and led to the end."

Pennetta, the No.1 seed and defending champion here, followed Kanepi into the final with a dominating 60 64 win over the No.8 seed, Julia Goerges. Pennetta won the first eight games of the match before Goerges finally got on the board, but Pennetta was too strong - she broke one last time for a 5-4 second set lead and served it out at 15, hitting two aces in the process.

"Tomorrow will be my second final in a row here and I hope to win again like last year," Pennetta said. "I like Palermo a lot. It helps me prepare or the hardcourt season - I'm playing in San Diego and Los Angeles in the coming weeks."

Pennetta is 3-2 head-to-head against Kanepi. Although Kanepi did win their last meeting, at the Beijing Olympics two years ago, Pennetta has won both of their previous clay court meetings, handily in straight sets, too.

This will be Pennetta's 20th career final and she is 9-10 in her first 19 (7-6 on clay). Kanepi is in her third career final but lost her first two, at Hasselt in 2006 (to Kim Clijsters) and Tokyo in 2008 (to Caroline Wozniacki).

"This will be my third final and I'm really hoping I can win my first title," Kanepi commented on her search for a maiden title.

The doubles final was played Saturday night and Italian pairing Alberta Brianti and Sara Errani triumphed over Jill Craybas and Goerges, 64 61. Brianti collected her first Tour title of any kind; Errani won her fifth Tour doubles title, which goes along with her two Tour singles titles here and at Portoroz in 2008.

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