French Flavor For Bali Final

Aravane and Marion will meet to decide the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions.

Published November 07, 2009 11:19

French Flavor For Bali Final
Aravane Rezai

BALI, Indonesia - The final of the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions will be an French affair, after Marion Bartoli and Aravane Rezai won their respective semifinals on Saturday.

First to secure her place in her fourth final of the year was top seed Bartoli, who broke Kimiko Date Krumm to start the match and began her subsequent service game with three aces. After Date Krumm got on the scoreboard in the fourth game of the first set, Bartoli won eight games in a row - and might have won even more handily than the eventual 61 63 scoreline.

"Up until 61 50 it was perfect, but even then I don't think my level dropped; she just started to play much better and get the crowd behind her," Bartoli said. "But I wasn't really focusing on her play; I was just playing point-by-point, and even though the first part of the match might have looked easy there were a lot of tough games, going to deuce." Kimiko's Age-Defying Tips

Later, Rezai likewise dominated María José Martínez Sánchez. The Spaniard's left-handed serve is usually a big weapon but after being broken in the first game from a 40-15 lead it became something of a liability: Rezai broke again in the first set, and twice in the second, winning the last eight points in a row to close out the match.

"I felt great on the court today; I've been feeling really good all week, and getting better with each match," said Rezai, who passed $1 million in career prize money earlier in the week. "She likes to come to the net, which is good for me as my passing shots are some of my biggest weapons. I needed to impose my game on her, and I think I did that very well today."

The finalists have met twice before, Bartoli winning at Roland Garros in 2007 and more recently at the Pan Pacific Open. "I played Aravane a few weeks ago in Tokyo and won in two sets, but I expect tougher match tomorrow," the world No.12 said. "It will be great that a Frenchwoman will win the title."

By reaching Sunday's final, 22-year-old Rezai is expected to break into the Top 30 in the rankings for the first time. Should she win the title on Sunday, 25-year-old Bartoli could return to the Top 10 for the first time since June 23, 2008.

Not since February 2006, when Amélie Mauresmo beat Mary Pierce at the Paris Indoors, has there been an all-French final on the Tour.

 Vera Conquers Beach Cricket

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