TORONTO – A win is a win, but not if you get Justine Henin.
Perennial Rogers Cup underdog Yan Zi advanced to the semifinals after seventh seed Marion Bartoli retired midway through the second set of their quarterfinal contest earlier today at the Rogers Cup in Toronto.
At a post-game press conference, Bartoli said that she fell sick presumably after her match against Dinara Safina last night.
“You know, I’ve got a virus like some few players had during this tournament. And I couldn’t – I couldn’t make it. I was just too tired,” she said. “And you know, I’ve got a headache, and I don’t feel good at all.”
Yan was dominating the match before Bartoli retired, winning the first set and well on her way to finishing the French player off midway through the second set (6-2, 3-0).
It’s just another chapter in Yan’s Cinderella-esque story that is being written daily at the Rogers Cup. And just like with any good fairytale, there is a twist.
It’s very possible that the story of this year’s event will finally change from the people who didn’t participate in the Rogers Cup to more of a true fable, one that will feature a possible David vs. Goliath match where the #163 player in the world will have to get past the #1 player in the world in order to reach the Rogers Cup final.
If Justine Henin does the expected and beats Nadia Petrova tonight, she will be the next chapter in the Chinese player’s story and perhaps its final ending.
It’s a story that even the players are talking about.
While many have been complaining about the lack of star power at the Toronto tournament this year, Jelena Jankovic said that players and stories like Yan are what make the women’s game that much more compelling.
“Yeah, it’s always exciting to see some new faces some new personalities. You know, it’s nice, you know, to see the big names come through, but it’s also nice to see, you know, some other girls, other players do well, too.”
The Serbian player who was victorious in her quarterfinal contest against Virginie Razzano said that the fact that just about any player on the women’s tour can win just about any match makes their game even more exciting than the men’s.
“So people can see the game and can see many different players not like just in the men’s always Federer, Federer, Federer winning everything,” she said. “Maybe let somebody else win some tournaments, too, would be fun.”
Jankovic also talk about the no-lose situation that unseeded players like Zan are in.
“Yeah, it can be dangerous. Because they just go out there without fear, without because they have nothing to lose. Even if they lose 6-0, 6-0, it’s all right for them. For you, you can only lose. If you win, you’re supposed to do that. And if you lose, it’s very, very bad loss for you.”
Justine Henin plays Nadia Petrova tonight in the day’s final quarterfinal match.