Bartoli thrashes Stosur in Eastbourne tennis
Eastbourne (England): Marion Bartoli of France reached the second grasscourt final of her career Saturday as she thrashed Australian Samantha Stosur 6-3, 6-1 at the WTA event in Eastbourne.
The sixth-seeded winner will play later in the day for the title against Czech fifth seed Petra Kvitova, who advanced when Slovak opponent Daniela Hantuchova retired with an abdominal injury trailing 7-6 (11/9), 4-2.
Kvitova managed seven aces in her win in just over 90 minutes against Hantuchova, who came into the event in good form as she reached the final in Birmingham last Monday.
The Slovak had also knocked out Venus Williams in the quarter-finals.
But Hantuchova faces a fitness crisis.
"It`s not great, That`s for sure," she said.
"It happened at 3-0 in the first set. I was running for a wide backhand and felt a sharp pain and just was getting worse and worse from then.
"I have to hope for some magic and get as much treatment as I can. As soon as I get to Wimbledon I will try to work with the physios and try to do something to be able to be ready for Monday."
The Wimbledon tune-up event was washed out by rain on Friday and is under pressure to complete play on both the men`s and women`s side before evening.
The event cannot extend due to the start of Wimbledon on Monday and the need for players to get to London immediately for practice.
Bartoli`s only other grass court final was the 2007 Wimbledon final, losing to Serena Williams.
Bartoli stands a career-high ninth and was playing in her fifth consecutive Eastbourne semi and sixth final-four appearance of the season.
The Frenchwoman will play her third final of 2011 after losing both at Indian Wells to world number one Caroline Wozniacki and at Strasbourg on clay to German Andrea Petkovic.
2010 Roland Garros finalist Stosur had won two of their previous three meetings.
But the Aussie who knocked out top seed and 2010 Wimbledon finalist Vera Zvonareva felt the poor weather conditions of wind and threatening rain destroyed her concentration.
"I thought the other day when I played Vera it was the worst I had ever played in, but I think today was even worse than that," said Stosur. "It definitely wasn`t easy at all.
"It`s one of those days where you`ve just gotta try hard and do whatever you can to try and get through, because it`s very hard to hit the shots that you want."
Stosur is seeded tenth at Wimbledon where she faces Melinda Czink in the first round.
"We all work up today knowing that hopefully we`re going to have two matches to play today. But I haven`t thought about Wimbledon since I`ve seen the draw.
"This has been good preparation for Wimbledon, a really good week. In spite of the match today I`m going to into Wimbledon feeling good. I played some really good tennis here and got through some really good matches."