Bartoli into Eastbourne semis

2012-06-21 18:07
Marion Bartoli (File)

Eastbourne - Defending champion Marion Bartoli trod carefully on a rain-slick court to advance to the semi-finals of the Eastbourne grass tournament on Thursday with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Czech Lucie Safarova.

The Frenchwoman, who plays next against either Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova or Tamira Paszek of Austria, was so intent on her victory that she automatically adapted to conditions to earn the win in 73 minutes.

"We had like five minutes of rain I think after the first set, it started to get a bit wet," said the 2007 Wimbledon finalist. "But then we had sunny patches, so the court was dry again.

"I was glad to finish before the rain started. But I was so focused on what I had to do that I didn't feel it was bothering me much.

"But on grass you have to be very careful, because when it gets wet you can really hurt yourself quite badly, which is the last thing you want to do three days before a Grand Slam."

Bartoli is playing the Wimbledon tune-up for the ninth year in a row and could become the first champion here since Justine Henin in 2007 to defend her title at Devonshire Park.

The winner lost just two points on serve in the second set and ended with four breaks of her opponent's serve.

"So far, I've been able to play well and to stay consistent into my matches, which is really important on grass," said Bartoli, 23-13 this season with seven career titles.

The fourth seed was joined as a winner by Klara Zakopalova, with the Czech winning the last five games to defeat Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-3, 7-5.

The contest was stalled by passing rain with Zakapalova leading a set and 6-5 after a sixth double-fault from her opponent led to a break point and the conversion.

The pair came back out when conditions cleared and played for three more minutes as Zakapalova advanced a step closer to a possible second grass trophy after winning in the Netherlands in 2005.

The other two quarter-finals were caught by another more lengthy rain interruption as German fifth seed Angelique Kerber faced 2010 Eastbourne winner Ekaterina Makarova of Russia and the Pironkova-Paszek match was halted by weather in the second set.

Results on Thursday from the Aegon International, a combined WTA and ATP grass-court event at Devonshire Park Lawn Tennis Club (seedings in parentheses):




Marion Bartoli (4), France, def. Lucie Safarova (7), Czech Republic, 6-4, 6-2.
Klara Zakopalova, Czech Republic, def. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Russia, 6-3, 7-5.
Angelique Kerber (5), Germany, def. Ekaterina Makarova, Russia, 6-2, 6-4.
Tamira Paszek, Austria, def. Tsvetana Pironkova, Bulgaria, 6-0, 6-4.



Philipp Kohlschreiber (7), Germany, vs. Andreas Seppi (3), Italy, postponed, rain.
Ryan Harrison, United States, vs. Denis Istomin, Uzbekistan, postponed, rain.
Fabio Fognini, Italy, vs. Andy Roddick (6), United States, postponed, rain.
Marinko Matosevic, Australia, vs. Steve Darcis, Belgium, postponed, rain.


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership nearing its conclusion, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Bidvest Wits hold them off? A bridge too far for new boys Cape Town City FC? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.