No. 2 seed Venus Williams’ groundstrokes abandoned her on Sunday in an error-filled 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 loss to No. 8 seed Marion Bartoli in the final of the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, Calif.
In the quarterfinals Venus defeating a doubles-faulting Maria Sharapova in straight sets, and in the semis blitzed No. 3 seed Elena Dementieva 6-0, 6-1.
Bartoli in the semis stopped the hot-handed Sam Stosur, who earlier in the week upset Serena Williams, by the scoreline of 6-3, 1-6, 6-1.
Bartoli failed to close out the match against Venus serving at 5-4 in the second, but in the same position in the third set the nervous Frenchwoman came back from 0-30 down to close out the match against the elder Williams sister.
“It was so tough physically in the match I was leading 6-2, 5-3 but in the third set I regrouped,” Bartoli said on court after the match. “I was really upset at the end of the second set and I gave her a chance and she came back…I just tried to focus toward the end and stay positive.”
Williams had 12 double faults, won only 35% of her second serve points, and converted on four of 12 break point opportunities. Her serve was broken six times during the match.
Venus did not utilize the WTA Tour on-court coaching rule, while Bartoli brought her father on court between sets.
“I was so scared to beat Venus, it is huge mentally to beat her,” Bartoli said. “I needed some help to calm me down and remind me of the basics.”
Bartoli lost in last year’s Stanford final to Canadian qualifier Aleksandra Wozniak.
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