PALERMO, Italy - Oceane Dodin led the charge on the second day of 31st Palermo Ladies Open qualifying, overcoming a second set hiccup to defeat Belgium's Yanina Wickmayer, 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 and move into the final round of qualifying.
With main draw action set to kick off on Monday, eight qualifiers remain in the hunt four the final four spots - including Dodin, a former Top 50 player.
Ranked as high as World No.46 in 2017 - the year she scored her biggest career win over Dominika Cibulkova at the Mutua Madrid Open - Dodin began the 2020 season on the upswing. In between securing an ITF Pro Circuit title at home in France, she reached back-to-back WTA quarterfinals at the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy - where she shocked British No.1 Johanna Konta as a qualifier in the second round - and the Open 6 ème Sens – Métropole de Lyon, where she pushed reigning Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin to three grueling sets.
Against Wickmayer, a former Top 20 player and 2009 US Open semifinalist, the big-hitting 23-year-old began in her signature style, dropping just two points behind her first serve and converting two of three break point chances to sweep the opening set. Though the Belgian veteran quickly leveled with some solid serving of her own, Dodin soon set the ship right, slamming six aces in the decider to advance after 97 minutes on Palermo's Center Court.
Awaiting her on Monday's final round of qualification is Argentina's Nadia Podoroska, who upset No.8 seed Ysaline Bonaventure in three sets earlier in the day. Podoroska, also 23, began the new season in similar fashion to Dodin, even securing herself an Olympic wildcard at the Summer Games in Tokyo before it was postponed.
Around the grounds, No.5 seed Liudmilla Samsonova scored a second win over former Australian Open junior champion Marta Kostyuk, rallying from a set down and surviving a late surge to defeat the Ukrainian teenager, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Samsonova will face the winner of the No.2 seed Aliona Bolsova and Laura Ioana Paar.
Martina Trevisan thrilled her home crowd by shocking qualifying's top seed Varvara Gracheva, dropping just two games to win in little over an hour while former World No.52 Lara Arruabarrena outlasted Italian Martina Di Giuseppe in straight sets.