Monday, September 24, 2012
Marion Bartoli stands firm in Tokyo
TOKYO -- Marion Bartoli of France advanced to the second round of the Pan Pacific Open with a 6-1, 6-4 win Monday over local favorite Kimiko Date-Krumm, who had to deal with the distraction of a rowdy fan.
After dominating the first set, the ninth-seeded Bartoli faced a tougher challenge as Date-Krumm rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the second set.
"Playing her in Japan is a tough challenge," Bartoli said. "I expected her to fight to the end. I knew she would make a comeback in the second set and she did but that forced me to stay focused."
Date-Krumm, who turns 42 on Thursday, closed the gap to 5-4 but was undone by two unforced errors in the last game when she had to contend with a loud intoxicated supporter.
"I heard it and found out after the match there was a drunken fan," Date-Krumm said. "Maybe he was cheering for me but it was distracting and broke my concentration on some big points. It's too bad something like that can happen."
Bartoli, who improved to 4-0 in head-to-head matches against Date-Krumm, said she has a lot of respect for the 107th-ranked Japanese player.
"I would love to be able to play at her level at 42," Bartoli said. "I'm 27 and am amazed by her condition every time she steps on the court."
In other matches, 11th-seeded Ana Ivanovic of Serbia advanced when Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic was forced to retire with a left thigh injury with the former top-ranked Serb leading 6-3, 2-0.
Urszula Radwanska of Poland coasted to a 6-2, 6-4 win over Japan's Kurumi Nara, while 17th-seeded Nadia Petrova of Russia downed China's Peng Shuai 6-1, 6-4.