Petra Martic had the run of her career at the French Open, beating world No.8 Marion Bartoli en route to the fourth round, then had three first-round losses at the four tournaments she played afterwards, and now she’s recorded her biggest win by taking out world No.5 Petra Kvitova in the second round of the Toray Pan Pacific Open. The fourth-seeded Kvitova had a bye in the first round and opened her appearance in Tokyo by double-faulting three times in losing the opening game. The Czech started the second set in similar fashion, dropping serve to love. Final score: 6-4 6-4. The win is even bigger when we consider Kvitova’s successful American hardcourt swing which included titles in Montreal and New Haven.
Unlike Kvitova, the 73rd-ranked Martic wasn’t relaxing during the first-round action. The Croat faced Andrea Petkovic, who would’ve been ranked much higher had her season not been affected by a right ankle injury (since January, Petkovic played just three tournaments before Tokyo and her ranking has slipped from No.10 to No.62). In that encounter, Martic’s prospects for victory didn’t seem likely as she was bageled in the first set, but finally she won 0-6 6-4 6-3.
In the third round, the 21-year-old Martic will face seed No.17 Nadia Petrova, who beat Simona Halep 7-6(4) 6-0.
More on Martic: Four-year-old Petra Martic “wasn’t crazy to play handball” like her mother (photo: © Neal Trousdale)