Wed, Jul 30, 2008 - Page 19 News List

Bartoli defies illness for Montreal win

AFP , MONTREAL

Marion Bartoli of France serves to Melanie South of Great Britain during the first round at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament on Monday in Montreal.

PHOTO: AP

France’s Marion Bartoli overcame a stomach virus to dispatch British qualifier Melanie South 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 6-0 on Monday and reach the second round of the US$1.34 million WTA Montreal hardcourt tournament.

“I was not feeling good at all,” Bartoli said. “My legs were shaking. My arms were shaking by themselves. I was really dizzy. I got cold.”

“The doctor gave me some tablets to take. They helped a lot in the third set, but it took a while for me to feel a little better. But I needed to come up with the win, so whatever it took, I had to hang in tough,” she said.

Bartoli said players had been advised to take precautions to avoid spreading a virus that seems to be going around, including washing their hands often.

Bartoli is ranked 15th in the world and seeded 10th in this prestigious Tier One event.

She reached just one semi-final in her first 14 tournaments of the season while being plagued by a wrist injury.

However, the 23-year-old reached the final at Stanford, California, two weeks ago.

Bartoli will be trying to improve on a strong showing in this event last year, when she reached the quarter-finals before losing to eventual champion Justine Henin.

A trip to the round of eight this time round could set up a potential matchup with third-seeded Maria Sharapova, who is one of the top eight players to get a first-round bye.

Ninth seed Patty Schnyder of Switzerland also booked a spot in the second round due as opponent Yuan Meng of China retired with a thigh injury with Schnyder leading 7-6 (8/6), 3-2.

Schnyder’s next opponent will be Romania’s Monica Niculescu, who eased past American Varvara Lepchenko 6-1, 6-2.

World No. 1 Ana Ivanovic, playing her first tournament since an upset loss to Zheng Jie in the third round at Wimbledon, is the top seed.

The Serbian took over at the top of the rankings following her triumph in the French Open, one of two titles for the 20-year-old this year.

In the second round she will face Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, a 6-2, 6-4 winner over Aiko Nakamura of Japan.

Serbian Jelena Jankovic, the world No. 2 who missed a chance to overtake Ivanovic atop the rankings when she lost in the semi-finals at Los Angeles on Saturday, is the second seed.

Jankovic said on Monday that she wasn’t too disappointed with that showing, given she is still recovering from a knee injury suffered at Wimbledon.

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