Barthel and Wickmayer set for rematch in Paris

Yanina Wickmayer
I am running out of superlatives to describe Mona Barthel as she continued her mightily impressive streak with another convincing win on Thursday.  Barthel won the last nine games of her match with Pauline Parmentier to win 6-3 6-0 and storm into the quarter-finals where she will play Yanina Wickmayer.  Wickmayer recorded a good win over the American, Christina McHale in a 6-2 7-5 victory.  This will be a rematch of the Hobart final where Barthel blew the Belgian off the court with her clean striking and pinpoint accuracy.  I fully expect Barthel to win once more and storm into the semi-finals…
Marion Bartoli started her Paris campaign with a win over Petra Matric, 7-5 6-1.  The 65-minute first set was quite entertaining and there were some crazy angles being produced by both players. There were a number of lengthy games that went to deuce but on almost every occasion, Bartoli came out on top.  Bartoli’s serving was particularly off-key in the first set as she hit just 43% first serves and served up 6 double faults.  However Bartoli’s return game was very impressive and the first set could have been much easier if she had converted more break points, of which she was just 4 out of 16.  Bartoli improved in the second set and eventually eased past Martic in the end.  Bartoli will play Roberta Vinci in the quarter-finals after she lost the middle set to Bethanie Mattek-Sands but survived a break-happy match, 6-3 1-6 6-3.  There were 11 breaks of serve in the first two sets, but Vinci tightened her grip on serve in the final set to progress.
In other matches, Angelique Kerber held off a gritty Monica Niculescu, 6-3 4-6 6-3 to set up another match with Maria Sharapova.  The final quarter-final will see Julia Goerges take on Klara Zakopalova, who crushed Tsvetana Pironkova, 6-0 6-3.  Zakopalova has been dreadful so far in 2012 as she won her first match of the year against Alize Cornet yesterday.  The thing with Zakopalova is that every now and then she is capable of hitting a rich vein of form and that seems to be this week! I still do not give her much hope against an in-form Goerges…
Maria Sharapova to beat Angelique Kerber in 2 sets
Mona Barthel to beat Yanina Wickmayer in 3 sets
Julia Goerges to beat Klara Zakopalova in 2 sets
Marion Bartoli to beat Roberta Vinci in 2 sets

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