No. 3 seed Marion Bartoli figured it might be a long Family Circle Cup day when her very first game against Vera Dushevina lasted 22 minutes.
A green clay tone was set as Bartoli, 2006 Family Circle Cup champion Nadia Petrova and No. 6 seed Sabine Lisicki all survived three-set matches Wednesday to advance to the round of 16 on Daniel Island.
Bartoli got by Dushevina, 6-2, 6-7, 6-4. She had to grind through tugs from a nagging leg injury and will play No. 14 seed Polona Hercog, who knocked off Vavara Lepchenko of the U.S., 6-3, 6-2.
“I didn’t have too much pain,” said Bartoli, of France. “I felt at the end of the match it was starting to get a bit tight, but it’s normal.”
Bartoli lost in the first round of the Family Circle Cup each of the last two years.
“I didn’t play my best,” she said. “But I just kept fighting and kept fighting and I think it’s great I was able to win.”
Lisicki escaped Andrea Hlavackova, winning 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. The hard-serving German – Lisicki touched 119 mph Wednesday – won the Family Circle Cup in 2009.
Petrova, the No. 13 seed, edged wily Jill
Craybas, 2-6, 7-6, 6-2, in an entertaining match played on the Althea Gibson Court.
Craybas had two match points on serve at 6-5 in the second set against Petrova. The 37-year-old has been on the WTA Tour since 1996, the same year she was the NCAA champion at Florida.
Petrova moves on to face No. 8 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who eliminated Eleni Daniilidou on Tuesday.
Lisicki will face unseeded Yaroslava Shvedova, who defeated Alexandra Panova on Tuesday.
Bartoli was so happy to have a second match, she said fatigue probably wouldn’t be a problem.
“I don’t think if I’m losing it will be because I’m just tired,” she said. “Maybe my opponent will play just better than me.”