Bartoli Blitzes Wozniacki, Top 2 Out
Published August 12, 2010 12:00
CINCINNATI, OH, USA - Caroline Wozniacki, then exactly two hours later Jelena Jankovic. The Top 2 seeds at the Western & Southern Financial Group Women's Open were bundled out of the tournament on Thursday.
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Wozniacki, the No.2 seed, had lost to Marion Bartoli in the pair's last meeting and this time it was no different, as the No.16-seeded Frenchwoman's two-fisted groundstrokes caught fire from 3-4 in the first set, and she won nine of the next 10 games to complete a 64 61 victory over the No.3-ranked Dane.
"With Caroline, you have to find the right balance between being aggressive and keeping the unforced errors low," said Bartoli, who hit 32 winners. "But she's not just a retriever. She retrieves very well, but she can step inside the baseline and dictate if you're hitting the ball right to her. You're not No.3 for nothing."
Bartoli earned her fifth career win over a Top 3 opponent: "The turning point was Wimbledon, when I beat Jelena and Justine," she said. "It helped me believe in myself. Sometimes, you lose before you go on the court because you're afraid to play against them; if you see my record, all my Top 3 wins came after that."
Shortly afterwards, Jankovic, the No.1 seed and defending champion, was ousted by qualifier Akgul Amanmuradova and her booming serve, 76(3) 64. The two hung tightly to their serve, with only one break in 24 service games - Jankovic lost her serve from having a 40-15 lead at 3-all in the second set.
"My opponent played really well. She served very well," said Jankovic, who withstood 12 aces and no double faults from Amanmuradova. "I thought that was the key to the match, actually. I didn't have much chance when I was returning. Unfortunately I lost today, but it's okay. It's part of the sport."
"I've never beaten anyone in the Top 10. She's No.2 right now and has a lot of titles - she's an incredible player," Amanmuradova said. "My serve is one of my strongest points. Today I served a lot of aces, which helped me save energy. Jelena moves very well and gets to every ball, so if I played rallies on every point, I would have already been tired in the first set."
As if No.1 and No.2 wasn't enough, No.6, No.7 and No.8 also fell. No.6 seed Vera Zvonareva lost six straight games from 4-3 up in the first set and fell to No.11 seed Flavia Pennetta, 64 63; No.7 seed Agnieszka Radwanska lost to No.10 seed Maria Sharapova, 62 63, her fifth straight loss to the former No.1; and No.8 seed Li Na fell to No.12 seed Yanina Wickmayer, 26 62 76(4).
In another upset, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova won her eighth match in a row with a 57 64 64 triumph over No.13 seed Shahar Peer. And in the only match between unseeded players, Ana Ivanovic thumped Elena Vesnina, 60 63.
"I had to be tougher than her in the end," Pavlyuchenkova said. "Now I can't believe I got through. During the match I wished it was just a normal day, maybe it would have been a different match. But I'm just happy I was able to make it."
"All this time, I was playing catch-up in some ways with the balance between my tennis and my fitness. Now I feel it's marrying together," Ivanovic said. "In a true career everyone goes through tough moments, and those moments make you stronger. I've learned a lot and I'm managing to handle it better."