Wed, Oct 04, 2006 - Page 20 News List

Bartoli battles cold to advance

JAPAN OPENWhile Marion Bartoli took care of the US' Jill Craybas, Taiwan's Chan Yung-jan beat Julia Schruff in just 44 minutes, and Lu Yen-hsun defeated Ramon Delgado

AFP AND AP , TOKYOAP, MUMBAI, INDIA

Marion Bartoli of France returns the ball to Jill Craybas of the US during their women's singles fist-round match at the Japan Open tennis tournament in Tokyo yesterday. Bartoli won the match 6-2, 3-6, 6-4.

PHOTO: AFP

French top seed Marion Bartoli battled through a cold to beat 2002 champion Jill Craybas in the Japan Open tennis tournament first round yesterday.

Bartoli, who fell ill before her semi-final match in Seoul last week, fought hard to score a 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 win over the 60th-ranked American on the center court of the Ariake Coliseum.

"First of all, I'm sick, so it was very hard for me to just step on the court," said Bartoli, ranked 22 in the world, after the 107-minute match.

"I played last week in Seoul. Here the surface is different, it's much faster. I think in the second set after I broke her to one-love, she started to play really well and really aggressive. I just try to hang in there, be ready for the third set," she said.

Bartoli, who lost to eventual champion Eleni Daniilidou of Greece 6-1, 6-0 in Seoul, said she got the cold on Friday night and it did not get better after arriving in Tokyo on Monday.

"After my semi-final in Seoul, I really thought about not coming to Tokyo. Unfortunately I was not getting better, but I just wanted to come and play here and try my best.

"I was coughing between each point in the first game. It was just very hard even to breathe, but sometimes you just have to fight and try to find the way to win your match," Bartoli added.

Bartoli had a surprise after the post-match interview when she was presented with a cake to celebrate her 22nd birthday.

Taiwan's Chan Yung-jan (詹詠然) needed just 44 minutes for a 6-3, 6-0 win over Germany's Julia Schruff.

Top-seeded Marion Bartoli of France had a 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 win over the US' Jill Craybas.

Two of the women's seeded players were upset, with American Jamea Jackson ousting sixth-seeded Gisela Dulko of Argentina 6-4, 6-1 and Lilia Osterioh beating eighth-seeded US compatriot Meghann Shaughnessy 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

In the men's tournament, Lu Yen-hsun (盧彥勳) of Taiwan beat Ramon Delgado 6-2, 6-3, while Tim Henman coasted to a 6-2, 6-1 win over unseeded Canadian Frank Dancevic.

Seventh-seeded Robby Ginepri was ousted in the second round.

Henman, seeded 10th, broke Dancevic's serve in the second game and needed just 55 minutes to set up a third-round match against 18-year-old Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro, who upset US player Ginepri 6-2, 6-2.

"I'm very pleased with my start," Henman said. "I hit the ball well, served well and enjoyed the conditions."

Top-ranked Roger Federer had a first-round bye and will play today against Serbia's Viktor Troicki, a 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-2 winner over Spain's Fernando Vicente.

In other men's first-round matches, 2003 champion Rainer Schuettler defeated fellow German Michael Berrer 6-2, 6-1, Japanese wild card Satoshi Iwabuchi had a 6-2, 6-1 win over Taiwan's Chen Ti (陳迪) and Italy's Stefano Galvani downed Austrian Stefan Koubek 6-3, 4-6, 7-5.

Dmitry Tursunov of Russia captured his first career title in defeating Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (5) in the rain-interrupted Mumbai Open final on Monday.

"The first title is always special," fourth-seeded Tursunov said after the match.

Victory also lifted him from a world No. 22 ranking into the top 20 for the first time.

The inaugural Mumbai final was postponed from Sunday because of monsoon showers, and disrupted twice more on Monday, which only added to the tension.

In the deciding set, Tursunov led 4-2, only to drop his serve in the eighth game. Rain arrived at 5-5, delaying the match for 30 more minutes, then Tursunov immediately broke. However, third-seeded Berdych squared the score again and forced the tiebreaker, which Tursunov clinched on his first match point.

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