Bartoli Books Third Round Spot
Published May 31, 2013 12:01
PARIS, France - After toying with the emotions of French Tennis Federation President Jean Gachassin and everyone else inside Philippe Chatrier during her three-hour first round thriller, Marion Bartoli's next match, against Mariana Duque-Mariño on Friday, was mercifully straightforward.
To the relief of Bartoli - and no doubt Gachassin as well - just the two hours were required this time, as World No.162 Duque-Mariño, who came through three rounds of qualifying, was seen off, 76(5) 75.
However, while nothing in comparison her escapology act against Olga Govortsova on Tuesday, Bartoli's progress was not without an alarming moment or two along the way; Duque-Mariño served for both sets and three times came within a point of taking the opener.
Despite her so-so form of late - she has won just two of her previous seven matches - and her early struggles in Paris, Bartoli, a semifinalist two years ago, is upbeat ahead of her third round meeting with former champion Francesca Schiavone, who saw off No.21 seed Kirsten Flipkens, 61 46 63.
"I think I played better today than I did in the first match," Bartoli said in her post-match press conference. "She's won four matches already, so I had to produce more. I had to play a better game when my back was on the wall.
"She is a great player on clay and her movement today was amazing and helped neutralize so much of my attacking play.
"It was awkward because she has different heights on all her shots. One moment there was a slice, and then the next point would be a big topspin shot."
For much of their two hours and seven minutes on court, Bartoli was on the back foot, hitting just 15 winners to Duque-Mariño's 42. In the end, though, it was experience - and a little good fortune - that won the day.
"I've been playing a while, and that experience helps you sometimes, because I knew what she was thinking on those big points. I thought, if she knows I won't give her the set and that she has to hit better and better shots, then it will be difficult.
"If she can't do this, then it will be playing on her mind. Maybe she will then make mistakes and this is exactly what happened.
"But I was a bit lucky as well at these moments. But in the tie-break, I played very well and once I had got ahead there and also in the second set, I knew I had to put my foot on the accelerator."