World no. 11 Marion Bartoli set up a second round showdown with new world no. 1 Serena Williams at the WTA Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Monday, The Frenchwoman scored a three set win over Czech Klara Zakopalova, 36 64 61 - coming back form a set and a break down to win the match.
Serena recaptured the world no. 1 ranking on Monday after reaching the finals in Doha last week. After the win, Bartoli commented, "Honestly I felt I played extremely badly the first set and a half, but I managed to play a lot stronger and turn the match around from 63 43 down, She won just one game after that so the way I was able to turn the match around today, I'm really pleased with that." Speaking of her next match against Serena, Bartoli said, "And it doesn't get any easier.
It's the way it is - it's an extremely tough draw, When you come to Dubai, you're not coming to play against someone ranked No.100. You're coming to play the very tough players. And it's going to be a very hard test, but it will show me where I am and where I need to improve." In other first round matches, 13th ranked Ana Ivanovic beat Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 63 76(5), Hsieh Su-Wei beat Varvara Lepchenko, 61 63, and Yulia Putintseva beat British teen Laura Robson 64 26 76(6).