Revenge For Anabel In Palermo

Anabel Medina Garrigues moved to 30-3 in Palermo on Friday. Is a fifth Sicilian title on the cards?

Published July 15, 2011 01:48

Revenge For Anabel In Palermo
Anabel Medina Garrigues
PALERMO, Italy - Last week in Budapest, up-and-coming Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu beat Anabel Medina Garrigues in the semifinals before falling to Roberta Vinci in the final. But in Palermo on Friday the veteran Spaniard turned the tables on her new rival to advance to the semis (at least) of the Sicilian tournament for the seventh time in eight visits. 

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The XXIV SNAI Open's red clay is, indeed, very much Medina Garrigues' 'turf'. Four of her nine clay court titles have been wrought here, including three in a row from 2004-06; counting her three wins so far this week, the 28-year-old's match record at the $220,000 event now stands at an impressive 30-3.

The No.5 seed certainly seemed keen to reassert her authority over unseeded Begu - who avenged her own loss to Vinci in the second round here on Thursday - as she raced through the first set.

But just as quickly the momentum shifted; whereas Medina Garrigues didn't face a single break point in the opener, it was Begu who avoided such peril in the second set, breaking her opponent three times to draw level.

However, Medina Garrigues broke serve in the first game of the decider and thereafter Begu could offer little resistance. The Romanian won just 36% of points off her first serve and none off her second as Medina Garrigues marched into the last four, 62 16 60.

Next up for the Spanish player is eighth seed Petra Cetkovska, who also advanced in three sets - but in a match that, at over three hours, lasted twiced as long. The resurgent Czech made the early breakthrough in the third set of her bout with No.3 seed Sara Errani, but the 2008 champion broke back and duly held match point on Cetkovska's serve at 5-4.

After struggling to hold her own serve for 6-5 and letting Cetkovska force the tie-break, the Italian nonetheless seemed headed for victory when she raced to a 3-0 lead. But Cetkovska pocketed seven of the next eight points to steal the win, 57 63 76(4).

First to book her spot in the other semi was last week's Bastad titlist, Polona Hercog; the No.7 seed from Slovenia extended her winning streak to eight matches with a 48 minute demolition of fourth seed Klara Zakopalova, 61 61. She meets 2009 champion and top seed Flavia Pennetta, who beat sixth seed Tsvetana Pironkova in the last match of the night, 62 62.

Zakopalova and Andrea Hlavackova, the doubles No.2 seeds, moved through to the final with defeat of Teodora Mircic and Laura Thorpe, 62 64. They face Errani and Vinci for the title.

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