Bartoli Blazes Into Bali Semis
Published November 06, 2009 02:26
BALI, Indonesia - The semifinal line-up was determined at the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions on Friday. With the round robin phase of the event concluded, four competitors are still in with a shot at being crowned champion of champions: Marion Bartoli, Kimiko Date Krumm, Aravane Rezai and María José Martínez Sánchez.
Having beaten Magdalena Rybarikova on Wednesday, Group A's Bartoli confirmed her spot with a 63 62 win over Shahar Peer of Israel. Two breaks of serve in each set more than did the job for the top-seeded Frenchwoman, who never failed to hold on to her own delivery. The 25-year-old's accurate assessment: "I was hitting hard and deep and didn't make many errors."
Bartoli's semifinal opponent, Japanese veteran Date Krumm, went 1-1 in the round robin and with today off, thought her fate depended on the outcome of the scheduled match between Anabel Medina Garrigues and Yanina Wickmayer.
But the Group C scenario changed with Wickmayer's withdrawal after the announcement of a 12-month ban imposed by the Flemish Doping Tribunal in Belgium, in relation to whereabouts procedural issues. First alternate Vera Dushevina took her place, but despite registering a 26 61 75 win over Medina Garrigues the Russian could not reach the semis with only one match under her belt; furthermore, Date Krumm beat the Spaniard more handily in straight sets on Thursday.
While fourth seeded wildcard Sabine Lisicki restored pride with a 62 67(1) 64 win over Melinda Czink on Friday, Saturday's other semifinal pitches the D Group's Rezai against B Group's Martínez Sánchez. Rezai beat both Lisicki and Czink in the round robin, while Martínez Sánchez, who beat Agnes Szavay on Thursday, kept her record perfect with today's defeat of No.2 seed Sam Stosur, 76(4) 75.
Both fine doubles players, neither could crack the other's serve in the first set, but in the second Stosur recovered a 5-2 deficit before ultimately conceding defeat.
"After my great week in Doha last week I'm hoping I can have more reason to celebrate when I get home to Barcelona," said Martínez Sánchez.
There was consolation for Stosur, though. During the match she sent down a serve at 208kph - which, pending verification, would beat the 207.6kph record held by Venus Williams. "It's definitely been my best year - I had a chance to get to the Top 10 had I won this tournament, so I know that it's possible next year," the Australian said.
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