| CARLSBAD, California, July 21
CARLSBAD, California, July 21 Top seed Marion
Bartoli won her third successive three-setter when she overcame
Chan Yung-jan 1-6 6-3 6-3 to reach the final of the Carlsbad
Open on Saturday.
The Frenchwoman will face second seed Dominika Cibulkova in
the final after the Slovakian beat Nadia Petrova of Russia 7-6
6-1 in the other semi-final.
After being bullied by Taiwanese qualifier Chan in the
opening set, Bartoli hit back in the second set after fixing her
serve and shaking off the effects of a sore ankle.
She took control in the decider, stepping inside the
baseline and finding the corners with some stinging returns and
groundstrokes, wrapping up victory in two hours, 16 minutes.
"I started to hit harder and gave myself a bit more room to
return serve," Bartoli told reporters.
"When I broke her at the beginning of the second set she
wasn't as confident and I started to serve better.
"I stayed really focused and positive and also my mental
toughness helped me to go through."
While Bartoli has been pushed to the wall in her matches
under the Californian sun, Cibulkova has not dropped a set in
The fleet-footed Slovakian forced a first-set tiebreak and
took it 10-8 on a forehand crosscourt winner, and a deflated
Petrova immediately called for a trainer for the heat.
The treatment failed to help as Cibulkova rolled through the
second set before taking a dig at her Russian opponent.
"This is usual on the women's tour," the 23-year-old
Cibulkova said. "There is a lot of calling for the trainers,
and you never know if it's real or if it's a tactic.
"Sometimes it's not easy for your mental (state) when you
see her down and complaining and not playing.
"I was trying to not pay attention to her, and I saw in the
last game of the match that she was running normal, so it was
good that I didn't pay attention to her."
(Editing by Alastair Himmer)