Bartoli, Li Set Up Title Showdown in Monterrey
Published March 07, 2009 12:00
MONTERREY, México - Marion Bartoli and Li Na powered into the final of the inaugural Monterrey Open on Saturday, both notching straight set wins in the semifinals of the International-level hardcourt event.
Bartoli, seeded No.2 here, was the first to advance to the title match with a 75 63 win over No.4 seed Zheng Jie. Zheng was up a break three times in the first set - including serving for it at 5-4 - but Bartoli was too tough when it counted, dispatching the Chinese No.1 in the pair's first ever meeting. It was Bartoli's 300th career singles win.
Li, unseeded here and the first round conqueror of the tournament's top seed Agnieszka Radwanska, followed with a 63 63 win over No.6 seed Iveta Benesova. Li, who until recently was China's No.1 player, broke early in each set and was never in trouble against the Czech, improving to 3-0 in the pair's head-to-head.
Bartoli and Li will be playing for the first time on Sunday. Bartoli is 3-5 lifetime in Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles finals, winning all her three career titles in 2006 at Auckland, Tokyo [Japan Open] and Québec City; Li is 2-2 lifetime in finals, winning her two titles at Guangzhou in 2004 and Gold Coast last year.
Nathalie Dechy and Mara Santangelo reached the doubles final with a 64 62 win over Zheng and Vania King. On Sunday they will compete for the title against Benesova and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, who won their semifinal on Friday.