China’s Shuai Zhang (No. 226) could not continue her surprising success in the 2009 China Open Thursday, falling to Marion Bartoli of France (No. 13) in the third round of the tournament. Bartoli cruised through the match 6-1, 6-4. Shuai Peng, the other Shuai is waiting to play the winner of the Petrova/Williams contest.
Zhang, 20, gained instant prominence this week when she toppled top-ranked Dinara Safina, now No. 2, in the second round of this year’s China Open.But Zhang’s strong performance against Safina was missing in the match against the 25-year-old Bartoli, an aggressive player known for double-handed backhands and forehands.
Zhang said in a post-match press conference that she was unprepared for Bartoli’s style of hitting low, cross-court passes. Zhang’s play improved in the second set as she began to play deeper balls, and her shots become more accurate as the crowd rallied behind her. But Bartoli’s performance never slacked, and as she finished the match in no apparent trouble.
Bartoli, who lost to Venus Williams in the 2007 Wimbledon final, will play the winner of the Flavia Pennetta (No. 10) and Vera Zvonareva (No. 7) matchup in the quarterfinal.