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Bartoli battles past Venus to shock Stanford win

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:40

Marion Bartoli stunned the Stanford crowd as she battled to a 6-2 5-7 6-4 victory over Venus Williams in the Bank of the West Classic final.

The five-time Wimbledon champion has reached the final on seven of her previous eight visits to the California warm-up event for the US Open, but won the event just twice with ehr last victory coming in 2002.

Bartoli is no stranger to the Stanford final either. The Frenchwoman lost in last year’s showdown against Aleksandra Wozniack.

“Marion was too good today”

But the former Wimbledon finalist was asked few questions as her revamped service action put Williams on the back foot, while the American’s recent serving demons returned with a vengeance at just the wrong time.

Williams hit an astounding 54 winners to Bartoli’s 18, as well as eight aces, but committed 12 double faults that proved to be her undoing.

It has now been seven years since Williams won an outdoor US hard court tournament, and after slipping a set and a break down to the Frenchwoman it looked certain she would not end that run in California.

But the former world No.1 rallied to reel off five of the next six games from 4-2 down in the second to level the match as she raised her game.

All that hard work seemed in vain, however, when Bartoli broke in the first game of the third set.

It was the only break she needed as she played a steady set from then on to seal the victory, ending with a flourish with two successive aces.

“I had a great tournament,” Williams said afterwards. “Marion was too good today.”

Bartoli, who lost to Williams in the 2007 Wimbledon final in their only previous meeting, is now expected to move up to No.12 in the world following the win. Williams will stay at No.3.

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