|Marion Bartoli celebrates with trophy after defeating Samantha Stosur at Japan Open [AFP]
French second seed Marion Bartoli enjoyed two match wins in one day, including a straight-sets defeat of U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur, to take the Japan Open title on Sunday.
After rain had forced organisers to hold the semi-finals and final on the same day, Bartoli beat German third seed Angelique Kerber 6-1 7-6 before flattening Australian Stosur 6-3 6-1 in the final.
Bartoli's seventh career title, and second of the year, kept alive her hopes of taking the last remaining spot in the
season-ending WTA Championships in Istanbul.
"I'm very happy with the way I played this week," said Bartoli, who won in Eastbourne in June.
"It has been a good season; I felt my level dropped in August, especially at the U.S. Open, but now I'm back playing
well again. Obviously to win a title is great. Now I have two titles this year so I'm really happy."
Stosur, who is already sure of her place in Istanbul, was taken to three sets in her semi-final before beating 28-year-old Zheng Jie of China 7-6 3-6 6-3.
The WTA championships will feature the world's top eight players and run from October 25 to 30.
Kvitova ahead in Austria
Top-seeded Petra Kvitova won the Generali Ladies with a 6-4 6-1 victory over Dominika Cibulkova for the Czech player's first title since winning Wimbledon in June.
The fourth-ranked Kvitova has struggled since winning her first major at the All England Club, but found her form Sunday to deny the seventh-seeded Slovak a maiden women's title.
The 21-year-old Czech notched up her fourth win in as many meetings with Cibulkova and dash her Slovakian opponent's hopes of winning a first WTA title.
"It wasn't as clear as the result suggests," said Kvitova after adding to her titles at Wimbledon, Brisbane, Madrid and
indoors at Paris.
"It was only easy for me towards the end."
Kvitova broke in the first game but Cibulkova hit back to level at 4-4 before Kvitova broke again to take the set. The
pair swapped service breaks at the start of the second set before Kvitova took control, winning five games in a row to wrap up the match.
"In the first set, I thought that maybe I could do it, but in the end I was on the defensive too often and she deserved the win," said Cibulkova.