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Bartoli gives France the lead

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Originally published on: 03/01/12 11:16

Now, we’re happy to admit at tennishead that despite our Aussie base, we’ve always admired the steel and style of the French woman and world No.9 and when we passed Marion Bartoli on the escalator on her way into the Burswood Dome earlier today, we sensed a woman with a mission.

In 52 minutes she delivered a near perfect performance against Australian Jarmila Gadjosova. She served 12 aces and the final game of the match says it all. Well, except the fact that it started with a double fault by the French woman, but that imperfection was followed by an ace at 133kph, another ace at 167kph, a rally which the Australian finished by dumping the ball in the net and another ace at 164kph. Game set match.

Steely Bartoli may be, but heartless she is not. Commenting immediately after the match she said of her victory: “I am sorry that I beat her in that way,” and of the fact that Gajdosova left the court by the wrong exit and in tears she added: “When I saw her in tears it was really heartbreaking.”

You have, however, to hand Bartoli all credit for her victory. She says she’s recently been working on her fitness and “it’s hard to keep it up on court, but I am in good shape”. And for a woman who is compact in height at 5’6 and 3/4″ (1.7m) she has a cracking record of serving aces. In 2011 the French woman topped the leader board for most number of aces served up at 270 (There must be a certain irony that second in that particular leaderboard list was…yep, you guessed it, with 260 aces, Jarmila Gajdosova, someone needs to tell her!).

Lleyton Hewitt then took on Richard Gasquet. There was a big cheer when Hewitt bagged his first game in the first set. It was 18.53 local time, the Aussies had been waiting patiently since 17.00 local time to get there.

It was not to be Australia’s night though and Richard Gasquet defeated Lleyton Hewitt 62 57 61 to hand the French the tie.

 

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