Strasbourg: Bartoli, Hantuchova Into Final Four
Top seed Marion Bartoli has flown into the Strasbourg semi finals after destroying Lucie Hradecka 6-2, 6-3 on Thursday to set her second meeting of the year with Anabel Medina.
Bartoli beat the world number 49 in their first meeting, managing to grab two precious early breaks in each of the two sets, something which allowed the 11th-ranked WTA French clinch the victory in nearly one hour and a half. The 26-year-old will next play Anabel Medina who also made the progress into the semi finals after ousting Mirjana Lucic of Croatia in two sets, 6-4, 6-4. Two late break points helped the Spaniard go through and claim her second victory against the 106-ranked, her first win dating from last week’s Rome Masters.
Medina will meet Bartoli for the eighth time, the head to head series being led by the French who has defeated the 28-year-old five times, including the last four. Medina, who has won ten career singles titles, last beat her opponent at this year’s Rome Masters, while her first victory dates from the 2010 Madrid event.
Barotli started her Strasbourg adventure with a straight-set win over Kimiko Date-Krumm whom she defeated 6-3, 6-1. As for the second round, the French had to face Elena Baltacha, but the Scott had abandoned due to medical problems. Concerning Medina’s route to the last four, the Spaniard has grabbed two straight-set wins over Melanie Oudin whom she ousted 6-3, 6-1, and over Bojana Jovanovski whom the Spaniard knocked 6-2, 6-0. Thus, neither player has dropped any set so far, tomorrow’s semi final being expected to provide two strong opponents.
On the second half of the table, the 2011 Pattaya City champion Daniela Hantuchova eased past Nadia Petrova 6-4, 6-2 to set her second meeting against world number 15 Andrea Petkovic. The 28-year-old Slovakian, winner of four singles titles, managed to break the Russians at times, something which allowed her to make the progress with a clean sheet.
Hantuchova hasn’t lost any set so far this week, but will start the semi final as second favorite. Andrea Petkovic, who also has the sheet clean, eliminated Maria Kirilenko 6-4, 6-3 to chase her second career title. The German, who hasn’t won any title so far this season, beat the 28-year-old at the 2010 Brisbane event and will start tomorrow’s game as favorite.
En route to the semi finals, the Slovakian upset Johanna Larsson 6-3, 6-4 in the opener and Mathilde Johansson 6-4, 6-2 in the second term. On the other side, Petkovic crashed Anna-Lena Gronefeld 6-3, 6-1 in her debut and claimed an identical win over Shuai Zhang of China whom the German defeated 6-1, 6-3.
Hantuchova declared she is already thinking of Roland Garros: “I’m really glad to be playing here because I think it’s a perfect preparation for next week.”11