Saturday, 18 February 2012

Bartoli vs Sam

Marion Bartoli vs Samantha Stosur - it was called the battle of oldies. Both hit the ball hard and match each other stroke by stroke. Bartoli landed in Dubai after having a fantastic week in Paris having reached the finals there. She was carrying the good form in this tournament. On the other hand, this has been Samantha Stosur's first WTA tournament after the depressing first round exit from the Australian Open. She was finding some form here in Dubai with a good win against Monica Niculescu in the quarterfinals yesterday.

All this set up a good battle in the semi finals. Samantha started the match serving some good serves backed up with solid hitting. She did well to hold her first two service games. Bartoli was in her usual self in serves notching up few aces and few double faults. She conceded breakpoints in her serves but managed to hold her first 2 service games. Bartoli broke Sam in the fifth game of the first set with some terrific play. She was then serving to go up 4-2 lead. This is where things started to change for Bartoli. She double faulted twice in that game and looked completely clueless. Sam took clear advantage of this and started coming down with winners. It was Sam's forehand that was working well than the backhand. Bartoli's body language changed completely and her usual rituals between points started to slow down. She was hitting the balls to Sam's forehand side which dint quite work out for her. Obviously Bartoli was not anywhere near her best and eventually lost the first set.

Having lost the first set, knowing Bartoli's fighting spirit, one would have expected a comeback from Bartoli in the second set. Just when things were heating up in the second set, Bartoli felt a pain in her right calf muscle and had to retire. This has been a pure shame after Bartoli's excellent two weeks in the WTA circle. It's highly unlikely for her to participate in Dubai which is starting on Monday.

Samantha Stosur has a work cut off for her in the finals who will most likely face the world No.1 Victoria Azarenka (unbeaten in 2012) or the Poland No.1 Agnieszka Radwanska.

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