Sat, Feb 11, 2012 - Page 20 News List

Bartoli powers past Martic to quarters in Paris Open

ON TRACK:As expected, Bartoli has emerged as the main rival to Maria Sharapova, while in Pattaya, Sorana Cirstea and Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei reached the semis

AP, PARIS

France’s Marion Bartoli prepares to hit a return to Croatia’s Petra Martic during their tennis match at the Paris WTA tournament on Thursday at Pierre de Coubertin stadium.

Photo: AFP

Second seed Marion Bartoli powered past Petra Martic of Croatia 7-5, 6-1 to reach the Open GDF Suez quarter-finals on Thursday.

Roberta Vinci of Italy and Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium also moved into the quarters, along with Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic and German pair Mona Barthel and Angelique Kerber.

Bartoli hit a forehand return winner to clinch victory. The Frenchwoman won seven consecutive games to lead 4-0 in the second set, despite seven double faults.

“My serve cost me in the first set,” Bartoli said. “Either I was making double faults or I was serving too softly. She’s a girl who returns very well and who hits the ball hard. She troubled me right away. Fortunately, I managed to break her, otherwise I could have lost that first set.”

Martic saved 16 break points, but her form dropped in the final set.

“The rallies exhausted her a bit,” Bartoli said. “I felt great physically, therefore I got the upper hand in the second set.”

Vinci beat American qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.

The seventh-seeded Italian broke twice in the final set, clinching victory when Mattek-Sands sent a backhand into the net.

Mattek-Sands struggled with her serve in the first set, making four double faults and landing only 45 percent of her first serves, but the American jumped out to 5-0 in the next set to level the match when Vinci sent a forehand wide.

Mattek-Sands finished the match despite a lower back injury. She was in pain at 3-2 in the decider, sobbing during the changeover, and calling a therapist to massage her left hip and thigh.

Wickmayer ousted teenager Christina McHale of the US 6-2, 7-5.

McHale saved three match points at 5-4, but Wickmayer converted her fourth match point when the youngest player in the top 50 sent a backhand wide.

Barthel defeated Pauline Parmentier 6-3, 6-0, hitting 26 winners to six for the French wild card. The German qualifier, who won the Hobart International last month in Australia, converted her second match point with a backhand cross-court winner.

Zakopalova advanced to her first quarter-final since the Korea Open in September, cruising past Tsvetana Pironkova 6-0, 6-3.

Kerber, a US Open semi-finalist, edged out Monica Niculescu of Romania 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.

In the quarter-finals, Kerber plays top seed Maria Sharapova, Wickmayer faces Barthel, Zakopalova meets sixth seed Julia Goerges of Germany and Vinci takes on Bartoli.

PATTAYA OPEN

AP, PATTAYA, THAILAND

Romania’s Sorana Cirstea reached the semi-finals of the Pattaya Open when top-seeded Vera Zvonareva of Russia retired yesterday with a left hip injury in the third set.

The match was even at 2-6, 6-4, 2-2 when Zvonareva pulled out and sent Cirstea into the next round.

“I rushed too much in the first set. Then I tried to be more patient and made her play more while my serves and returns were better in the second set,” Cirstea said.

“However, I didn’t notice that she was injured and was surprised she retired. I hope she will recover soon,” she added.

Cirstea, a 21-year-old Romanian who is seeded seventh, will next face either Maria Kirilenko of Russia or Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand.

“Either of them will be tough,” Cirstea said. “Tammy is an experienced player and the home fans will support her. Maria is playing well, coming from Australia.”

Taiwanese qualifier Hsieh Su-wei beat Sania Mirza of India 7-5, 6-3.

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