Bartoli defeats Polona Hercog in Sydney


World number nine, Marion Bartoli of France, defeated 20-years-old, Polona Hercog of Slovenia, in the first round of Apia Sydney International. Both contestants locked horns for the third time in their career and Bartoli ousted the youngster for the third time in a row. She played for an hour and 26 minutes before confirming the second round place; final score of the match was 6-3, 6-3.
Previously, eighth seeded Bartoli ousted her opponent in Indian Wells 2010 and again the same year in Madrid Open as well. World number 36, had a great opportunity to minimize the trail of two losses to one but instead she now faces a trail of three head-to-head loses against one of the most powerful women tennis players in the world.
Conventional start to the set witnessed both players holding on to their first serve game as the score moved to 1-1. Bartoli hung on to her second serve as well but her rival failed to do so; opportunity was there for the eighth seed to take advantage but she couldn’t hang on to her serve. Ideally, Hercog would have loved to level the score at that stage but she was once again stunned with some jaw dropping down the line winner from her opponent. She failed to perform the basic right; simple return was hit straight back into the net; score pushed to 4-2 in favour of Bartoli. Eighth seeded French took advantage of the second opportunity and extended her lead to three games with a successful serve game.
Hercog failed to break again that would have allowed her to level the score and extend the set. It was a good battle between the underdog and prolific performer but the experience and pressure played its part as well; Slovenian couldn’t shift to plan B as she was completely owned on her fore hand returns. Trailing one set down, Slovenian needed to start well but she failed to do so.
Bartoli broke in the first game of the second set and helped her to take 2-0 lead upfront. Both players continued to hang on to their serves and at a do or die situation Hercog couldn’t hang on to her serve in the ninth game. It was crucial for her to hang on and break in the next to level the score but her luck was out.
Marion Bartoli squares off against Aussie Jelena Dokic in the next round.