Andrew's quarter-final TV-report
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S OPEN (Eastbourne, England; grass; WTA Tier II)
1. Quarter-final TV-report: Bartoli v Kleybanova
Master-reports for Eastbourne 2008:
Andrew's eyewitness reports & photos (Mon. to Wednesday) + TV-reports (Thurs./Friday)
1. Quarter-final TV-report: Bartoli v Kleybanova
+ MARION BARTOLI [2,DF,S] d. Alisa Kleybanova [Q], 6-3 6-3
The match started at 15:57 BST, and I saw the whole thing on BBCi.
BARTOLI *@*@*___* 6
KLEYBAN _____*@*_ 3
Marion serving 0-0: Kleybanova forehand wide. 15/0. Kleybanova forehand return just long. 30/0. Service-winner. 40/0. Ace out wide.
Kleybanova serving 0-1: Backhand return winner down Kleybanova's backhand-sideline. 0/15. Kleybanova dropshot + forehand lob long. 0/30. Kleybanova netted a forehand return. 0/40. Kleybanova on the third stroke dumped a backhand into the net.
Marion won the first 8 points!
Marion serving 2-0: Marion crosscourt forehand just long & just wide. 0/15. Marion hit a short-angled crosscourt backhand winner. 15/15. Serve out wide + crosscourt backhand winner back behind Kleybanova. 30/15. Kleybanova forehand return just wide. 40/15. Kleybanova dominated the point, and a netcord from her induced Marion to mishit a backhand wide. 40/30. Kleybanova netted a backhand return.
Virginia Wade: "She anticipates so brilliantly, and can redirect the ball so easily. Always inside the baseline, and staying down well for the ball - hitting it so early."
Kleybanova serving 0-3: Body-jamming serve + crosscourt backhand winner. 15/0. Kleybanova on the third stroke hit a backhand long. 15/15. Kleybanova on the third stroke netted a forehand. 15/30. Double fault (second serve into the net). 15/40. Marion cracked an early backhand return just inside the baseline, forcing Kleybanova to earth a backhand.
Marion serving 4-0: Service-winner out wide. 15/0. Kleybanova opened up the court and hit a crosscourt forehand winner. 15/15. Kleybanova sprayed a forehand long off a weak dropshot from Marion. 30/15. Service-winner out wide. 40/15. Off a body-jamming serve, Kleybanova squeezed a backhand return-winner into the corner - Marion was surprised it was in. 40/30. Kleybanova pinned Marion back and then hit a crosscourt backhand dropshot-winner. 40/40. Kleybanova dumped a backhand into the net. Ad Marion. Kleybanova off-backhand winner just inside the sideline. Deuce #2. Kleybanova backhand return long. Ad Marion. Kleybanova forehand long.
Virginia Wade: "She's very much at the mercy of Marion Bartoli's razor-like shots."
Kleybanova serving 0-5: Marion netcord off-backhand return-winner. 0/15. Serve out wide + crosscourt forehand winner. 15/15. Marion netted a crosscourt forehand return. 30/15. Double fault #2 (second serve down the middle wide). 30/30. Serve out wide + crosscourt backhand winner just inside the baseline. 40/30. Kleybanova's short-angled crosscourt forehand forced Marion to stretch low & wide and earth a crosscourt forehand.
Marion serving 5-1: Double fault #1 (second serve just long). 0/15. Kleybanova netted a backhand. 15/15. Kleybanova ran down a dropshot and hit a deep crosscourt forehand winner just inside the baseline. 15/30. A deep forehand return onto the baseline forced Marion to net a backhand. 15/40. A deep backhand return onto the baseline forced Marion to net a forehand.
Kleybanova serving 2-5: Ace out wide: just inside the sideline. 15/0. Kleybanova forehand just wide. 15/15. Double fault #3 (second serve long). 15/30. Kleybanova on the third stroke dumped a backhand into the bottom of the net. 15/40 (SP #1). First serve almost hit Marion on the full - would have been Kleybanova's point! Kleybanova forehand volley-winner down the line: right in the corner. 30/40 (SP #2). Marion netted a forehand return. 40/40. Service-winner out wide. Ad Kleybanova. Ace out wide.
Marion serving 5-3: Virtual ace out wide. 15/0. Kleybanova hit an error-forcing backhand return down the line. 15/15. Kleybanova crosscourt forehand pass-winner. 15/30. Service-winner. 30/30. Kleybanova dumped a backhand return into the net. 40/30. Service-winner out wide. Marion won the first set 6-3 at 16:33 (36 minutes).
David Mercer: "Enough at the end of that set to suggest that the second set could be quite close."
BARTOLI _* *@* *@ 6
KLEYBAN * *___*__ 3
Kleybanova serving 0-0 (new balls): Marion dumped a forehand return into the bottom of the net. 15/0. Marion netted a forehand. 30/0. Marion's depth forced Kleybanova crosscourt forehand just wide. 30/15. Marion hit a couple of excellent lobs: one to neuter Kleybanova's early initiative, and another for a winner after drawing Kleybanova to the net with a dropshot. 30/30. Double fault #4 (wild second serve long). 30/40 (BP). Serve + crosscourt forehand winner into the corner. 40/40. Marion played a great spreading rally, with a pinpoint forehand down the line forcing Kleybanova into error. Ad Marion (BP #2). She netted a cheap backhand. Deuce #2. Marion crosscourt forehand return long. Ad Kleybanova. Wild first serve almost to the baseline! But Kleybanova made up for it with an off-backhand winner just inside the sideline - I don't think that she meant it, though.
Marion serving 0-1: Marion hit a deep, error-forcing crosscourt forehand. 15/0. Marion came to the net behind a very short ball from Kleybanova, and hit a two-handed backhand volley-winner. 30/0. Ace #2: out wide. 40/0. Ace #3: out wide, just inside the sideline.
Kleybanova serving 1-1: Ace out wide: just inside the sideline. 15/0. Kleybanova, stretched wide & low, mishit a crosscourt forehand lob wide. 15/15. Marion netted a forehand that would also have been wide, off a deep ball from Kleybanova. 30/15. Kleybanova sprayed a forehand very long. 30/30. Serve out wide + forehand winner down the line. 40/30. Kleybanova on the third stroke hit a crosscourt backhand dropshot-winner, though I'm not sure that she meant it.
Marion serving 1-2: Kleybanova forehand long. 15/0. Kleybanova crosscourt forehand return + forehand winner down the line. 15/15. Kleybanova crosscourt backhand return, but down-the-line forehand long. 30/15. Kleybanova chopped a forehand return into the net. 40/15. Double fault #2 (second serve long). 40/30. Kleybanova hit an error-forcing crosscourt backhand. 40/40. Forehand return long. Ad Marion. Double fault #3 (second serve into the net). Deuce #2. Kleybanova mishit a forehand long, with a little scream. Ad Marion. Kleybanova hit a great return off an excellent serve, but hit a forehand long.
Kleybanova serving 2-2: A good first serve out wide, right in the corner, forced Marion to net a forehand return. 15/0. Kleybanova thought she served an ace, but it was just long/wide. Marion netted a forehand. 30/0. Kleybanova mishit a forehand into the net. 30/15. Kleybanova on the third stroke netted a forehand. 30/30. A deep forehand return down the middle induced Kleybanova to dump a backhand into the net. 30/40. Kleybanova on the third stroke netted a forehand to put Marion a set and a break up.
Bartoli serving 3-2: Service-winner. 15/0. Double fault (second serve into the net - the wind messed up her toss). 15/15. Kleybanova forehand return wide. 30/15. Kleybanova dumped a forehand return into the net off a penetrating shot into the corner from Marion. 40/15. Marion crosscourt backhand wide. 40/30. Kleybanova crosscourt backhand dropshot-winner off a deep ball from Marion. 40/40. Body-jamming serve: Kleybanova off-backhand return wide. Ad Marion. Kleybanova sprayed a forehand return wide.
Kleybanova serving 2-4: Kleybanova sprayed a crosscourt backhand wide off a poor dropshot from Marion. 0/15. Double fault #5 (second serve into the net). 0/30. Marion's crosscourt forehand was called wide, but overruled as good, so they replayed the point: serve + deep off-forehand winner just inside the baseline. 15/30. Kleybanova forehand long off a deep ball just inside the baseline from Marion. 15/40. Serve out wide + off-backhand winner back behind Marion. 30/40. Serve out wide + crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline. 40/40. Serve out wide + deep, error-forcing backhand down the middle. Ad Kleybanova. Marion forehand return long.
Marion serving 4-3: Ace out wide: on the sideline. 15/0. Kleybanova netted a forehand. 30/0. Ace out wide: on the sideline. 40/0. Ace out wide: right in the corner.
Kleybanova serving 3-5: Marion hit an early crosscourt backhand return-winner. 0/15. Kleybanova on the third stroke hit a backhand long. 0/30. Double fault (wild second serve very long). 0/40 (MP #1). Kleybanova on the third stroke hit a forehand just long. Marion won 6-3 6-3 at 17:16 (second set 43m, match 1h19m).
Marion won the first 8 points of the match, and the last 8 points!
Marion's on-court interview
MATT CHILTON: Marion Bartoli, another very /efficient/ win. What is it about your game that makes you so effective on grass?
MARION BARTOLI: Yeah, thank you very much. Well, it was very tough today: it was very windy, but er, I guess that that ??radio ball-sound?? helped me to control the ball, and I'm really happy to be in the semi-final again.
MATT CHILTON: This time last year, just on the cusp of Wimbledon, and then you had that fantastic run all the way to the final. Are you feeling similarly confident this year?
MARION BARTOLI: Yeah, you know, I'm playing really well, er, specially those two matches. And I'm very happy to be back in Eastbourne, I really do love this tournament, and er, hopefully I will be able to play the same way at Wimbledon.
MATT CHILTON: So, you were a semi-finalist here a year ago. You're in the semi-finals again this year. What do you think you can achieve tomorrow?
MARION BARTOLI: Well, I will try my best, and hopefully I can be in the final, and er, why not win the tournament?
MATT CHILTON: Okay, well, we wish you the very best of luck. Ladies and gentlemen: Marion Bartoli!
Bartoli into Eastbourne semi-finals (AP)
Wimbledon-finalist Marion Bartoli beat Russian qualifier Alisa Kleybanova 6-3 6-3 on Thursday to reach the semi-finals of the Eastbourne International Women's Open.
The second-seeded Bartoli had won just eight matches in 14 events coming into Eastbourne, and her run to the semi-finals this week is only her second since Wimbledon a year ago.
She began strongly, surrendering just three points in the first four games, but Kleybanova eventually settled. Bartoli failed to serve out the first set at 5-1 or convert two set-points on Kleybanova's serve at 5-2 before taking the set in the next game.
Bartoli broke for a 3-2 lead in the second set, and she closed out the match by winning the last eight points.
"I had a tough time because I was not healthy to play tennis, but now I'm feeling really well and really happy to be back on track," Bartoli said. "I arrived here and kept trying to practise, and one day my energy came back and I felt it was the same like last year."
Bartoli next plays fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwańska, who first completed a 3-6 6-3 6-4 second-round win over Virginie Razzano that was suspended at one set each overnight, and then beat Gisela Dulko 7-5 7-5 in the quarter-finals.
Bartoli has easy ride to Eastbourne last four (Reuters)
By Clare Fallon (editing by Miles Evans and Pritha Sarkar)
Marion Bartoli, on the mend after a wrist-injury, reached the semi-finals of the Eastbourne International on Thursday by making short work of Russian qualifier Alisa Kleybanova.
Second seed Bartoli, the Wimbledon runner-up last year, will play fourth seed Agnieszka Radwańska of Poland in Friday's semi-finals after her 6-3 6-3 win.
Frenchwoman Bartoli, ranked 11th in the world and the top surviving seed after Svetlana Kuznetsova was beaten in the second round, raced to a 5-0 lead before Kleybanova began to fight back, winning three games in a row and saving two set-points.
Bartoli, though, wrapped up the set in the ninth game, and immediately went on the attack at the start of the second set, when Kleybanova had to save two break-points.
By the end of the set, the French player - who lost in her first match in Birmingham last week after aggravating a wrist-injury - was in imperious form, hitting three aces in the eighth game, and winning the ninth on a break to love.
"I am feeling really well, and I am really happy to be back on track and to feel healthy again," Bartoli told a news-conference.
Bartoli reaches Eastbourne semis (PA SportsTicker)
Marion Bartoli appears to be regaining her form just in time for Wimbledon.
The second-seeded Frenchwoman advanced to the semi-finals of the International Women's Open on Thursday with a 6-3 6-3 triumph over Russian qualifier Alisa Kleybanova.
Bartoli also was a semi-finalist at this grasscourt-event last season, and went on to make a surprising run at Wimbledon, where she stunned former world No.1 Justine Henin before falling to Venus Williams in the championship.
Ranked 11th in the world, Bartoli has struggled since that remarkable effort however. The 23-year-old has not played in a final since, and has been dealing with various injuries, including the wrist-tendinitis which has hindered her play lately.
She has shown no signs of weakness here, dropping just nine games in two matches following a first-round bye.
Bartoli can expect a challenge in the semis from No.4 Agnieszka Radwańska, who won two matches on Thursday to reach the final four.
The Pole completed the final set of her suspended second-round match earlier in the day, downing Virginie Razzano 3-6 6-3 6-4, and later moved through the quarter-finals with a 7-5 7-5 win over Gisela Dulko.
Bartoli takes aim at Wimbledon with semi-final spot (AFP)
The 2007 Wimbledon-finalist Marion Bartoli moved closer to another shot at success on grass as she reached the semi-final of the Eastbourne Championships here on Thursday.
The Geneva-based Bartoli dominated Russian qualifier Alisa Kleybanova 6-3 6-3 as a run of poor form this season faded away for the Frenchwoman this week.
"I'm feeling like I did last year," said the delighted second seed. "I've suddenly been energised; I'm able to play my game. I think I'm on the right way again."
Bartoli, who has had repeated injury, hard luck and poor results this season after playing the All-England club final against Venus Williams, snapped a four-match loss-streak at Devonshire Park.
The 23-year-old, competing here for the fifth time, has suddenly found her game, and aims to advance as she faces off on Friday against Agnieszka Radwańska after the Polish fourth seed beat Argentine Gisela Dulko 7-5 7-5.
The pre-Wimbledon event on the south coast could be just the lift Bartoli needs as she makes improvements to a 10:14 record this season. The winner of three WTA titles lifted them all in 2006, and feels ready for a return to success.
She said the the trademark wind at Eastbourne made victory a challenge. "It's always windy here, but it's the same for both; you just have to find a way to win.
"You won't play well anyway, but you find a way. I led 5-0 and she came back to 5-3; I had to keep fighting."
Semis Set in Eastbourne
While No.1 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova and No.3 seed Vera Zvonarëva may have been sent to the sidelines in their opening matches, No.2 seed Marion Bartoli and No.4 seed Agnieszka Radwańska continued to fly the flag for the favourites at the International Women's Open on Thursday, not dropping a set to their challengers, and setting up an intriguing semi-final match-up.
Bartoli was the first of the two to advance to the semi-finals, notching a 6-3 6-3 win over qualifier Alisa Kleybanova in an hour and 18 minutes. While she did give up her serve once late in the first set, Bartoli broke the young Russian a total of four times in the match with her pinpoint two-fisted groundstrokes, which seem to be finding their best range for the first time since her run to the Wimbledon-final almost a year ago.
Radwańska won her only previous meeting with Bartoli: at Stuttgart last fall. She had to fight back from a first-set blowout to prevail, though, winning 0-6 6-2 6-1.
"The match against Marion will be very difficult. I won the last time we played - a couple of months ago - but it was on hard court, and she has shown this week and last year at Wimbledon that she plays really well on grass. So it will be difficult."
No sign of injury as Bartoli reaches semi-final
On a sunny Thursday at Eastbourne's Devonshire Park, the No.2 seed, Marion Bartoli, stormed into the International Women's Open semi-final with a dominating display of power and precision from the back of the court. The world No.11, who was the 2007 runner-up at The Championships, Wimbledon, defeated qualifier Alisa Kleybanova 6-3 6-3 in 78 minutes.
Played on a wind-swept Centre Court in front of a near-capacity crowd, Bartoli never looked in trouble as she faced just one break-point and notched six aces against her Russian opponent. The 23-year-old Frenchwoman, who is double-handed on both sides, will be vying to improve on last year's performance, when she lost against Justine Henin in the final four.
Bartoli said: "My game is well-suited to grass, because I take the ball early and hit it flatter than most players, which gives me a better chance of putting it away. I've been practising every day, and I feel like my energy has come back. If I keep going and playing like this, then I think I'll have a great chance of making the final."
In Friday's semi-final, Bartoli will meet the Polish No.4 seed, Agnieszka Radwańska, who defeated Argentinean Gisela Dulko 6-3 6-4 in the last quarter-final of the day. Ranked No.14 in the world, the 19-year-old right-hander is chasing her third WTA Tour title of 2008, having already claimed victories in Pattaya City and İstanbul.
Radwańska said: "The match tomorrow against Marion will be very difficult. I won the last time we played a couple of months ago, but that was on a hard court, and she has shown this week and last year at Wimbledon that she plays really well on grass. So it will be difficult... but let's see."
Dr. Andrew Broad
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