King Beats Bartoli For First Top 10 Victory
Published September 21, 2011 12:00
SEOUL, South Korea - Although she has had many victories over the best doubles players in the world, she had never beaten one of the Top 10 players in singles - until now. Having gone 0-16 against the elite going in, 22-year-old American Vania King finally got her breakthrough in the second round of the International-level Hansol Korea Open on Wednesday afternoon.
King, ranked No.98, beat the No.10-ranked Marion Bartoli, 63 75, winning the first four games of the match and never really relinquishing control of the first set, then rallying from a 4-2 deficit to win the second set. Bartoli, who was the No.2 seed, never looked comfortable - she finished with 17 double faults.
"I'm very excited to win today," an elated King said. "Last time I played her I won just two games, but I've changed a lot and improved things in the last year. I'm much more confident in my abilities and have been working hard to be more creative. I'm happy this hard work is starting to show on court."
At 5'5", King is one of the smaller players on the tour, but she has made up for that lack of raw power with rock solid groundstrokes, taking the ball early and impressive defense. She is one of the Top 10 doubles players in the world.
"When your size is small you have to be quick, take the ball early and open the court up as much as you can. You have to be a very balanced player too, with a good defensive game. But I try to take control of the rallies when I can - when there are chances, I try to take them. I've been working very hard on my game."
Next up for King is Klara Zakopalova, who also pulled off an upset, taking out No.7 seed Irina-Camelia Begu earlier in the day. "I played against Zakopalova about a year and a half ago. She has improved a lot since then - today she won her match in less than an hour. I will need to be really focused to beat her."
In the last match of the day, No.5 seed Polona Hercog restored some order with a 63 75 win over Carla Suárez Navarro. Hercog nearly became victim to a Suárez Navarro comeback, watching a 5-2 second set lead become 5-all as the Spaniard rallied - but Hercog ground out two close games to close her out.
Next up for Hercog is No.4 seed Dominika Cibulkova, who won earlier on.