Marion Bartoli, one of six former Eastbourne champions in the 2013 Aegon International main draw, had few problems in dispatching Flavia Pennetta 6-3 6-2 on Monday.
Battling Bartoli, who failed to achieve a seeding as there are eight out of the world’s top 15 on the WTA Tour at Devonshire Park, was relegated to a sparsely attended Court No.1 for her rain delayed 1st Round clash.
Ex-Wimbledon runner-up Bartoli showed the same unorthodox style and raw energy to give the Italian a lesson in finishing.
Yet Bartoli still possesses lofty ambitions of gaining Grand Slam glory, which was behind her temporary split with her father as coach in a bid to get French Fed Cup captain Amelie Mauresmo in to head ‘Team Bartoli’. The former world #1 was aware of the French Tennis Federation’s long-term stand-off with Bartoli and her father, so wisely rejected the advances of taking a coaching role.
This coaching upheaval has resulted in some poor showings with a string of recent 1st Round exits, including a dire struggle in Strasbourg to world #88 Camila Giorgi.
But Bartoli bounced back with aplomb from just over a month of misery to reel off a comfortable victory against an opponent who clearly had a few dubious line-calls to deal with as well as fired-up opponent.