Marion Bartoli of France advanced to the second round of the Pan Pacific Open on Monday with a 6-1, 6-4 win over local favorite Kimiko Date-Krumm, who had to deal with the distraction of a rowdy fan.
After dominating the first set, the ninth-seeded Bartoli faced a tougher challenge from Date-Krumm, who came back from a 3-1 deficit in the second set.
”Playing her in Japan is a tough challenge,” Bartoli said. ”I expected her to fight to the end. I knew she would make a comeback in the second set and she did but that forced me to stay focused.”
Date-Krumm, who turns 42 on Thursday, closed the gap to 5-4 but was undone by two unforced errors in the last game when she was forced to contend with a loud, intoxicated supporter.
”I heard it and found out after the match there was a drunken fan,” Date-Krumm said. ”Maybe he was cheering for me but it was distracting and broke my concentration on some big points. It’s too bad something like that can happen.”
Bartoli, who improved to 4-0 in head-to-head matches against Date-Krumm, said she has a lot of respect for the 107th-ranked Japanese player.
”I would love to be able to play at her level at 42,” Bartoli said. ”I’m 27 and am amazed by her condition every time she steps on the court.”
Bartoli will face Germany’s Julia Goerges in the second round on Tuesday. Goerges beat Romanian Monica Niculescu 6-3, 6-2.
Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark beat Bojana Jovanovski 6-0, 3-6, 6-4 to advance.
The 10th seeded Wozniacki won the Korea Open on Sunday and needed 2 hours, 17 minutes to beat the Serbian qualifier in Monday’s evening match at Ariake Coliseum.
Kaia Kanepi of Estonia, who lost Wozniacki in the final of the Korea Open, defeated Spain’s Silvia Soler-Espinosa 6-1, 6-4.
In other matches, 11th-seeded Ana Ivanovic of Serbia advanced when Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic was forced to retire with a left thigh injury with the former top-ranked Serb leading 6-3, 2-0.
Urszula Radwanska of Poland coasted to a 6-2, 6-4 win over Japan’s Kurumi Nara, while 17th-seeded Nadia Petrova of Russia downed China’s Peng Shuai 6-1, 6-4.