PALERMO, Italy - No.4 seed Anett Kontaveit ended the Cinderella run of Italian teenager Elisabetta Cocciaretto in the quarterfinals of the 31st Palermo Ladies' Open on Friday, overcoming the wildcard in a 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 quarterfinal victory. 

Contesting her third quarterfinal of the season, the Estonian No.1 was dominant at the start and finish of the match, steeling herself against a spirited effort from the 19-year-old home favorite that allowed her to capture the second set. 

Behind 57 winners, five aces and seven breaks of serve, the World No.22 earned herself a spot opposite top seed Petra Martic in Saturday's semifinals. 

"It was really tough tonight. She played great and she had the home crowd definitely behind her," Kontaveit said on-court after the match. "I'm really happy with how I fought in the third set and that I managed to turn it around in the end."

Needing less than a half hour to pocket the opening set, Kontaveit sprinted out of the gates. The 24-year-old won the first five games, saving two break points serving at 2-0, and finished off the opener with ease after the 19-year-old saved the bagel.

Cocciaretto, who earned a Top 100 victory over Polona Hercog in the first round and upset No.6 seed Donna Vekic in the second, was not about to go down quietly, and won the first three games of the second set to gain a foothold in the match.

A marathon seventh game, in which the wildcard had three points for 5-2, ultimately went the way of the Estonian to get the set back on serve, but began a run of four straight breaks that earned the World No.156 the set.

"I felt like I started really well and finished really well, but I definitely think she started playing better in the second set," Kontaveit told reporters via Zoom after the match.

"It got away from me a little bit at the beginning of the second, and I was almost getting back and trying to hang in, but I think she played really well and she managed to play the close points really, really well. She made some really good shots."

In the end, however, the Australian Open quarterfinalist found another gear and sprinted through the finish, winning the first two and last four games of the decider to wrap up victory in one hour and 54-minutes. 

"I was really happy with the way I bounced back from that and started in the third set. I had a really clean third set and felt like I played good tennis," the Estonian continued.

"I just felt like i had to reset and try and play aggressive again. I had to be ready for what she was doing. I felt like at 2-0 in the third set, she had a really good service game.

"I never really could lose any focus, because she was right back in it if I did, so I felt like I had to stay super-focused and do the best that I can on every point."

The semifinal match between Martic and Kontaveit is a rematch of the pair's quarterfinal meeting from February's Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, which was won by the Croatian in straight sets, 7-6(4), 6-1.

"She definitely plays really well on clay and she has a great game for it," Kontaveit said.

"She has a great kick serve, serve in general, and it's going to be really tough, but I'm ready for it. I've had a few tough matches but I feel well physically, so I'm ready to play tomorrow."

2020 Palermo highlights: Kontaveit overcomes spirited Cocciaretto