Akgul Amanmuradova and Chia-Jung Chuang, the No. 4 team in the doubles draw, took on the 2nd-seeded team of Natalie Grandin and Vladimira Uhlirova for the Strasbourg doubles crown.
Grandin and Uhlirova, whose previous success as a team includes an ITF title and reaching the Final in Barcelona, were looking for their first WTA Tour title together. Grandin has yet to win a WTA title, while Uhlirova's last WTA tournament win came in 2008. Therefore, it wasn't surprising to see both players act very animated from the start. Uhlirova, the 33-year-old veteran from the Czech Republic, was especially emotional, both in cheering on herself and Grandin and in showing her frustration over errors. At one point, she even turned to the crowd and loudly asked if she should "just sit down" with them.
In the first Semifinal, the tournament’s No. 1 seed and highest-ranked French player in the world, Marion Bartoli, took on three-time Strasbourg Champion Anabel Medina Garrigues. The two faced each other last week in Rome, a marathon two-set match that lasted over two and a half hours before the Spaniard pulled out the win. For a brief moment, Medina Garrigues had hopes of making today's encounter equally competitive. She broke Bartoli's serve in the first game of the match, but the Spaniard would win just four more points in the entire first set, and only one of them on her own serve. After the initial struggle, Bartoli dominated the match virtually at will, hitting the ball deeper, harder, and at better angles than her opponent. “It's not much I can do when she is playing like that,” Medina Garrigues said afterwards. “She did not miss.”
In just under 30 minutes, Bartoli railed off eight straight games to go up, 6-1, 2-0, before Medina Garrigues won her second game of the day. While the second set was closer in terms of points won by each player, it was far from a turnaround. Medina Garrigues' sole break opportunities came when Bartoli served for the match. However, the Frenchwoman saved the first break point with a service winner and the second with a clean ace before taking the match, 6-1, 6-2.
PTN: How does it feel to be seeded in the Top 16 for a Grand Slam for the first time [Petkovic is the 15th seed in next week's French Open –Ed.]?
Andrea Petkovic [AP]: It's great, it's really great. Actually, Australia was the first time I was seeded at all. Last year, I wasn't seeded and I got some tough first rounds. But, nonetheless, I play Bojana Jovanoski in the First Round, which is not an easy draw actually, for being seeded Top 16. [Laughs] But anyway, still, it's good to avoid the Top 10 players in the first few rounds, just to get into the matches.
PTN: Going back on something you said yesterday. You said you've improved, but don't quite see yourself winning Grand Slams yet. Anything in particular you feel you need to improve to get there?