Bartoli, the world’s fourth-ranked player who reached the semifinals of the French Open in 2011, only had two days of practice to get ready for her first clay-court tournament of the season and the rust was apparent.
After breezing through the first set, Bartoli struggled with her serve and in handling the serve of her Russian opponent. Dushevina tied the match with second-set tiebreaker, winning 7-3. It was Bartoli, though, who regained control in the final set by taking back-to-back games for a 5-3 lead.
“It was great to put up a fight and get the win out there,” said Bartoli.
Unseeded American Venus Williams faced another former No. 1 in the world in Jelena Jankovic on Wednesday night.
Serena Williams goes for a spot in the quarterfinals against Marina Erakovic today. Erakovic defeated Anna Tatishvili, 7-5, 6-3.
DAVIS CUP: France captain Guy Forget believes the United States will be significantly weakened by the loss of Mardy Fish in their Davis Cup quarterfinal Friday.
Both teams were rocked by withdrawals to key players this week.
The ninth-ranked Fish pulled out because of fatigue and was replaced by 66th-ranked Ryan Harrison. Meanwhile, Forget is without the 14th-ranked Gael Monfils because of an abdominal injury.
Harrison will be joined on the U.S. team by John Isner and doubles players Mike and Bob Bryan.
“I think these last-minute withdrawals are more harmful for them than for us,” Forget said. “The American captain doesn’t have a choice in singles. … I thought Jim Courier might have called up Sam Querrey or even Andy Roddick. Harrison is a player for the future. We don’t really know his true potential.”