South pushes Bartoli to 3 sets, but falls in Montrael round 1
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Mel South put up a great effort against 10th seed Marion Bartoli in the first round in Montrael, but was beaten 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-0.
South, who had to qualify for the event, and was twice a set and a break down against Anna Jidkova, pushed the world number 15 all the way in the first 2 sets, but ran out of energy in the 3rd set.
Bartoli played the better first set, breaking South twice to take it, as she continued to struggle on serve, getting just 48% of her first serves in, and winning only 48% of points on her own serve,
But after trading early breaks in the secon set, South played a lot better, serving 8 aces as she stretched Bartoli all the way, even creating 2 set points on Bartoli's serve at 5-6, but when Bartoli held to take it to a tiebreak, it looked like her chance had gone.
Bartoli got the mini-break to go 3-1 up, but in a topsy-turvey tiebreak, South came back to lead 5-3, only to give the mini-break back to Bartoli for 5-5. But South broke again, and on her 3rd set point served out the set to take it to a decider.
Bartoli though ran way with the final set, dropping just 8 points, as South ran out of steam, but qualifying for a Tier I event, and pushing Bartoli all the way has meant this has been a successful week for her, and she should be British number 2 when the rankings come out next week.