|Marion Bartoli during her match against Vania King. A Telegraph picture
Calcutta: When the last match of the day finally started at 10.30 on Tuesday night, very few were present to witness top seed Marion Bartoli take on unseeded American Vania King.
A family of three was there. While the parents watched the red-clad Vania fly about at the Netaji Indoor Stadium, a little girl was wandering among the empty chairs. She had moved so far away from her parents that when she tried to come back, found herself lost among the maze of seats. Bewildered, she called for her father to rescue her.
The situation in the court was not too different. World No. 10 Bartoli could have done with a little bit of help from father Walter!
The top-seeded Frenchwoman looked totally flummoxed and a girl badly in need of some direction as the unseeded Vania sent her packing 6-1, 7-5 in 98 minutes.
This was just what the 2007 Sunfeast Open, already reeling under the withdrawal of crowd-puller Sania Mirza, didnít need.
Throughout the match, the Wimbledon finalist looked absolutely clueless. She didnít even know what hit her as Vania, ranked 90 on the WTA list, claimed the first set 6-1 in 31 minutes. The American achieved breaks in the fourth and sixth games as Bartoli, as bewildered as the little girl in the stands, shook her head in disbelief. The French No. 1 sensed something was going terribly awry and tried to claw her way back. But it was too little, too late.
Such was Vaniaís dominance that she held her service games 40-0 against the world No. 1 who found all her games being stretched into deuce.
The harder Bartoli hit, the harder it came back to her. With amazing athleticism, Vania was making the Frenchwoman play one last shot.
She compelled Bartoli, who reached the fourth round of the US Open this year, to make errors by overreaching herself.
It was a bad day for the seeds as two more fell by the wayside. But there was some good news for the Indians.
Sunitha Rao defeated Sandy Gumulya in a two-hour epic. The Indonesian girl came into the main draw as the lucky loser with the withdrawal of Indian heart-throb Sania Mirza.
Her luck ran out when she was a break up in the second set after having won the first 6-2. She let loose her grip with some shoddy display as the rusty Sunitha clawed back into the match. She eventually won 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 to move into the second round.
Earlier, in an ill-tempered encounter fraught with frayed nerves and power cut, Belarusian girl Tatiana Poutchek wore down fifth-seeded Alla Kudryavtseva 6-3, 6-3.
The dayís most engrossing battle, however, was between Israeli journeywoman Tzipora Obziler and ninth seed Yaroslava Shvedova. The latter, the reigning Bangalore Open champion, was ousted in a brutal baseline battle 6-7, 7-6, 1-6.Italyís Alberta Brianti will also take the flight home after the world No. 131 lost 2-6, 5-7 to Swiss upstart Sofia Arvidsson.
The second dayís opening singles encounter saw Uzbekistanís Akgul Amanmuradova coast into the second round after Edina Gallovits of Romania withdrew a set down with a left thigh sprain. The Romanian girl was later forced to pull out of the event
The dayís other singles encounter between Anastasia Rodionova and Hana Sromova ended with the 94-ranked Russian winning 6-3, 6-2.
Indian wild card entrant Tara Iyer, along with Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada, put it over Russian pair Julia Efremova and Ekaterina Ivanova 6-4, 7-5 to move into the last eight of the doubles event.
The other Indians in fray, Sanaa Bhambri and Isha Lakhani, lost 2-6, 0-6 to Italian pair Flavia Pennetta and Sara Errani.
11.30am: Chan Yung-Jan (Tpe) vs Jarmila Gajdosova (SVK)
1.00pm: Casey Dellacqua (Aus) vs Tzipora Obziler (Isr); Followed by Vania King/Alla Kudyravtseva (US/Rus) vs Ankita Bhambri/Sanaa Bhambri (Ind)
5.00pm: Marta Domchowska (Pol) vs Daniela Hantuchova (Svk); Flavia Pennetta (Ita) vs Tara Iyer (Ind); Followed by Ekaterina Ivanova (Rus) vs Maria Kirilenko (Rus)
12.30pm: Sara Errani (Ita) vs Anne Keothavong (GBR); Followed by Mariya Koryttseva (Ukr) vs Monique Adamczak (Aus); Followed by Sandy Gumulya/Whitney Jones (Ina/US) vs Anne Keothavong/Hana Sromova (GBR/CZE); Followed by Ashvarya Shrivastava/Kyra Shroff (Ind) vs Alberta Brianti/ Mariya Koryttseva (Ita/Ukr)
8.00pm: Marta Domchowska/Neha Uberoi (Pol/Ind) vs Monique Adamczak/Sunitha Rao (Aus/Ind)