Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Agnieszka Radwanska, of Poland, was dominant in the first set against Ana Ivanovic, breaking the Serb four times in Doha. Karim Jaafar / AFP
Agnieszka Radwanska, of Poland, was dominant in the first set against Ana Ivanovic, breaking the Serb four times in Doha. Karim Jaafar / AFP

Marion Bartoli has another chance to impress at Dubai Tennis Championships

French No 1 given wild card and will join 16 of the world's top 20 players to play in tournament starting on Monday.

UAE tennis fans will see 17 of the world's top 20 women's players at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships after French No 1 Marion Bartoli was given a wild-card berth.

Bartoli is ranked No 11 after reaching a career high of No 7 in 2012.

"Marion Bartoli has missed only one year of our tournament since she successfully came through the qualifying rounds in 2005. In that first year she also played an ITF event in Dubai and emerged from that as the champion," said Colm McLoughlin, the Dubai tournament official.

Bartoli has found it difficult in Dubai to repeat the success she has enjoyed elsewhere. She has won seven titles, but the farthest she has reached in Dubai is the third round, on three occasions. However, she has a history of giant killing, having beaten No 1 Victoria Azarenka, who also will play in Dubai, in Miami last year, ending Azarenka's 26-match winning streak.

Bartoli recorded a genius-level score on an IQ test as a child and uses this to her advantage.

"Sometimes it helps to be smart on the court," she said. "What helps me is the way I'm thinking on the court, trying always to figure out a solution. It helps me. Sometimes players come up with Plan A and never get a Plan B."

Bartoli joins Azarenka, Serena Williams, Agnieszka Radwanska and Caroline Wozniacki at the event, which begins on Monday.

The ATP World Tour event commences on February 25 and will feature No 1 Novak Djokovic, defending champion Roger Federer, and top-10 rivals Tomas Berdych, Juan Martin Del Potro, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Janko Tipsarevic.

Meanwhile, at the Qatar Open in Doha, Radwanska beat an error-prone Ana Ivanovic 6-1, 7-6 to reach the quarter-finals, where she was joined by another former No 1, Wozniacki.

The fourth-ranked Radwanska made quick work of the former No 1 from Serbia in the first set, breaking her four times amid windy conditions.

Ivanovic did not help her own cause, committing 21 unforced errors and only getting 63 per cent of her first serves in. The second set was much closer, with Ivanovic winning it on a tiebreak. Radwanska put it away with a lob that Ivanovic hit weakly into the net.

“She really start to play much better in the second set, and I think she didn’t make any easy mistakes,” Radwanska said.

“I really need to just play my game. She didn’t give me any free points in the second set. It was really close. But I’m very, very happy that I could close this and win in two sets, because, in the third set, you never know what’s going to happen.”

Wind also played havoc in Wozniacki’s 7-6, 6-3 win over Mona Barthel of Germany as they struggled to hold serve.

Wozniacki broke Barthel a second time and was up 5-3 before the German ran off three games to put her on the verge of winning the first set. But the Dane forced the tiebreaker and won it.

Wozniacki settled down in the second set, breaking Barthel twice to go up 5-1. Barthel won the next two games but Wozniacki served out the match.

“It wasn’t great tennis out there. The wind was a huge factor, and it seemed like the wind took more on this court than it did on centre,” Wozniacki said.

There was no such problems for Azarenka, as the Belarus world No 1 defeated Christina McHale of the United States, 6-0, 6-0.

Russia’s Maria Sharapova beat Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-3.


twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Glenn Maxwell's knock that followed ensured Brendon McCullum's knock went in vain after his explosive half-century took Chennai Super Kings past the 200-mark. Ravindranath K / The National

All is well with Punjab as Maxwell and Miller seal win against Chennai

The Australian missed out on a century but his 95 runs, along with Miller's unbeaten half-century, ensured Kings XI scaled a mighty peak of a target in a hot first game of Abu Dhabi's double-header.

 Sunderland manager Gus Poyet protests during the Premier League match against Crystal Palace at The Stadium of Light in Sunderland, northeast England, on March 15, 2014. Ian MacNicol / AFP

Sunderland going out of Premier League with a grumble

Northeast club have underwhelmed during seven-year stay in the top flight

 Hamburg players leave the field after the match against Borussia Moenchengladbach on March 30, 2014. AFP

Hamburg the dinosaur’s time may be up in Bundesliga

Ever-present for 51 years in the German top-flight, Hamburg face the prospect of relegation, writes Ian Hawkey.

 At 105 kg, Gabrielle Garcia has dominated the world circuit and loves many things about being in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Garcia seeks fresh challenge in MMA after her jiu-jitsu domination

Brazilian prides being a lioness in the sport but feels she can shed 25kg weight to pursue her MMA debut aspirations.

 England's Jonathan Trott hits out during the ICC Champions Trophy semi final match against South Africa at The Oval cricket ground, London June 19, 2013. REUTERS/Philip Brown

England’s Jonathan Trott sidelined with stress-related illness again

Jonathan Trott is to take a second break from professional cricket because of his stress-related illness as England and Wales Cricket Board and Warwickshire confirmed he will stop playing with immediate effect.

 Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho looks on during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Chelsea at the Liberty Stadium on April 13, 2014 in Swansea, Wales. Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

‘That’s why we are a top club’ says Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech

Jose Mourinho’s men will temporarily claim the Premier League top spot if they beat Sunderland, leaving them in control of their own destiny in the title race ahead of a crucial trip to face Liverpool at Anfield on April 27.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National