Jasmine Paolini made a convincing debut at the Palermo Ladies Open. In the final match on the center court, the Italian needed just over an hour to defeat Slovak Anna-Karolina Schmiedlova (76 WTA) with a decisive 6-3 6-1 score. Due to the break she received in the first game, the 26-year-old Tuscan, who is ranked 61, got off to a slow start. However, she quickly recovered with a strong response performance to highlight the Czech’s serve insecurities. “I was a little bit tense at first, but I am extremely pleased with the performance in the end. Perhaps playing in Italy conditioned me a little bit. The location is helpful; I enjoy playing here a lot, and perhaps this will be the year that an Azzurra is successful.” Paolini advances to the second round, where she will encounter a more difficult challenge: the Chinese Shuai Zhang (36 WTA), the third seed and semifinalist last year, who defeated the Spanish Rebeka Masarova, who advanced from the qualifiers, with a double 7-6. Italian binge today at the Country Time Club, where Océan Dodin eliminated Matilde Paoletti yesterday (with her head held high and her heart full of pride): The generational rivalry between Errani and Cocciaretto and the debut of the top seed Martina Trevisan against the young Russian Avanesyan both hold promise.