Tag Archive | "Bank of the West Classic"

Sweet Retribution Serena Relishes Stanford Title

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Sweet Retribution Serena Relishes Stanford Title

Last June in the round of 16 at Wimbledon, Marion Bartoli stared down Serena Williams for her initial victory over the defending champion. Despite Williams’ twelve month absence from competition and only her second tournament back, Bartoli’s triumph was classified as a major upset.

Whether one calls it revenge or redemption, Williams was looking to make a statement in the final against Bartoli. After a tough first set, Williams vanquished Bartoli 7-5,6-1 at the Bank of the West Classic to claim her premier title since 2010 Wimbledon.

Due to Dominika Cibulkova withdrawing from their semifinal match because of an abdominal strain, Bartoli had an extra day of rest. Yet, unlike Wimbledon, fitness has not been an issue for Williams this week.

A noticeably more in shape Williams required just 69 minutes to dismiss 2011 Wimbledon finalist Maria Sharapova in the quarterfinals. The following night in the semifinals, Williams dispatched 2011 Wimbledon semifinalist Sabine Lisicki in 59 minutes.

However, knowing that she won their ultimate meeting gave Bartoli a lot of confidence. Early on, the 2009 Bank of the West Classic champion gave Williams plenty to ponder.

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Bartoli Bars Venus From Title At Bank of The West

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Bartoli Bars Venus From Title At Bank of The West

img_3366At the Bank of the West Classic final, a premier tourney, eighth seed Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli blocked out her second set miscues and prevailed over second seed Venus Williams 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 to claim her first title in the States.

After dropping only five games in the quarters and semis against Maria Sharapova and Elena Dementieva respectively, California fans expected a routine victory for Venus, the world number three. Instead, Bartoli, ranked 14th , showed that she was fearless.  After each player had no problem with her initial service game, the two traded breaks.  After Venus squandered an advantage point, Bartoli earned another break point with a forehand winner.  She converted when Venus sliced a backhand into the net.  After a multiple deuce game ended with a forehand mistake by Williams, Bartoli consolidated for 4-2. Then, with more backhand errors and a double fault from Williams,  Bartoli broke for the third time and went on to capture the set.

The marks of success for Bartoli were great returns, pressuring Williams’ serve and forcing errors in the long rallies. With that game plan, Bartoli took the first game in the second set and consolidated for 2-0.  After saving break point, Venus kept within reach for 2-1. Although Bartoli had several more chances to extend her lead, she was turned away.  With Bartoli serving for the championship at 5-4, Venus struck a winner and induced a string of errors to level the set at 5 all.  Subsequently, with  backhand volley and  forehand winners, Venus saved double break point and went on to take her first lead in the match at 6-5.  Then, Bartoli capped an error filled game at  0-40 with a double fault giving Williams the second set.

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Canada’s Wozniak Adds Name To List of First Time WTA Winner This Year

The women U.S. Open Series final at the Bank of the West Classic featured 2007 Wimbledon finalist, Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli, ranked 15th in the world, against Canadian qualifier Aleksandra Wozniak. Although this was Wozniak’s first career final, she showed no signs of anxiety, easily beating her more experienced challenger 7-5, 6-3.

After blowing break chance opportunities early in the first set, Wozniak found herself in a hole down a break at 3-4. The 20-year-old Canadian did not panic and got things back on serve on the subsequent game. After exchanging breaks of serve, Wozniak held to take a 6-5 lead. Then, she went on to break Bartoli to carry the first set.

In the second set, Wozniak broke early on to take a 3-1 advantage. After getting treatment for a left hip injury, Bartoli resumed the match despite her motion being hampered. Playing against a limping opponent can be a challenge, but Wozniak maintained her focus and did not allow her rival’s ills affect her own game. Serving at 4-2, Aleksandra went down 0-30, but quickly recovered to win the game. Subsequently, after being unable to close out the match on Bartoli’s serve, Wozniak stayed calm and closed it out at love on her own.

Dealing with injured opponents seemed to have been a theme at this tournament for Wozniak. In the semifinals, Serena Williams, the top seed, retired with a knee injury with the Canadian up a set and a break. With this magnificent result, Wozniak, currently ranked 85th, will see her ranking shoot up in the top fifty. With a strong backhand and a game with great room for growth, this may be the first of many titles for this Canadian.

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