Martic Serves Up Best Victory Over Bartoli
Published May 30, 2012 12:00
PARIS, France - With one final ace on match point Petra Martic finally made it known she's ready for the big leagues, stunning No.8 seed Marion Bartoli in the second round of the French Open on Wednesday evening, 62 36 63.
The No.50-ranked Martic came into the match 0-8 against Top 10 players but this time her mix of power and variety clicked in a big way as she fired 34 winners past Bartoli, including seven aces - and the last of those seven aces, a big kicker out wide on the ad side, came on the most important point of all.
"I really tried my hardest, but she played better than me today. She deserves credit for that," Bartoli said. "But I think I lost the match in the first set, to be honest. I really started to play when I was down 62 20, which is really, really late. Then at the end of the match there were some points here and there I didn't serve really well. She definitely served much better than me today.
"I really tried my hardest to compete at my best here, physically, mentally and tennis-wise. I did everything I could. And even on the court I tried my hardest no matter what the score was. So it's a bit disappointing for me right now.
"Last year everything clicked in Strasbourg. Though I didn't have the best preparation I thought I'd do well again this year. Unfortunately it didn't happen."
The 21-year-old Martic is into the third round of a Slam for the first time.
Bartoli wasn't the only seed to go down, with No.20 seed Lucie Safarova falling to María José Martínez Sánchez in an all-lefty battle, 64 75; No.24 seed Petra Cetkovska falling to France's own Mathilde Johansson, 76(1) 62; and No.31 seed Zheng Jie losing to Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak, 62 64.
While Martínez Sánchez, a former World No.19, and Wozniak, a former World No.21, have been to the third round of Slams before, Johansson is there for the first time now - and she had barely made it out of the first round a few days ago, rallying from 75 52 down to beat feisty Australian Anastasia Rodionova.
"Nothing but happiness," the 27-year-old Johansson said. "When you try 100% every day and nothing happens, you start thinking, 'Is this worthwhile?' But when you have a good practice session, when you can play a portion of a match that's really good, you start thinking maybe you're getting there. And I proved that right today. It was always there. It was just waiting to come into the light.
"You need to be patient, you need to believe, and then it happens."
Johansson's win over the No.26-ranked Cetkovska is the best win of her career, and second over a Top 30 player - she also beat a No.30-ranked Cetkovska earlier this year. To top it all off, she and Cetkovska are practice partners.
"It's always difficult to play Petra. We know each other really well," Johansson said. "It's never pleasant to take a match away from your sparring partner, or your practice partner. But I think she finds it more difficult than I do.
"When I was down in the first set I started to realize I was losing the match more than she was winning it, so I thought I should take control. If I was going to lose the match, I would lose it playing my own tennis. The more I became aggressive, the more she started to go backwards; I took the opportunities."