Sweden's Sofia Arvidsson scored the biggest upset of the Kremlin Cup so far on Wednesday with a straight-sets win over second seed Marion Bartoli.
Arvidsson's immaculate serving was in stark contrast to that of Bartoli, who got barely half of her first serves in and notched up 12 double faults on the way to a 6-3, 6-0 demolition.
“Mentally I was trained extremely hard but my body was just not reacting,” Bartoli told R-Sport after the match. “I was feeling tired and exhausted and of course the surface was very slow that didn’t help my game.”
Arvidsson broke Bartoli to go 5-3 up in the first set and held it. She overpowered Bartoli in the second set as the Frenchwoman's serve crumbled.
“On this kind of surface and the last tournament of the year it was very difficult for me to beat her, because she likes to have time to get the ball back and she had all the time in the world here.”
“Maybe if we play on another surface, a bit quicker, then maybe I’d have more advantage.”
It was a fifth head-to-head victory over the 10th-ranked Bartoli for the Swede, who is 36 places lower in the rankings.
The 28 year old Arvidsson, who won only her second singles title in Memphis in February, will go on to face either Yaroslava Shvedova or seventh seed Maria Kirilenko, who eliminated her Russian compatriot Elena Vesnina 7-5, 6-1.
Earlier, Klara Zakopalova ousted eighth seed and Czech compatriot Lucie Safarova 6-4, 6-4, and Russia's Valeria Solovieva won a battle of two qualifiers against Ukraine's Elina Svitolina, prevailing 6-4, 6-2 to set up a second-round match with fourth seed Ana Ivanovic.
Sam Stosur is the top seed for the $740,000 hard-court event, which runs through Sunday in the Russian capital.