Mallory Burdette took a quick lead on second-seeded and 10th-ranked Marion Bartoli in the second round of the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford's Taube Family Tennis Center on Thursday night, but wound up losing, 7-5, 6-0.
In an earlier match, Sorana Cirstea beat lucky loser Saisai Zheng, 6-3, 6-3.
"I'm definitely aware of how great that experience was," said Burdette, who had not played since she and Nicole Gibbs won the NCAA doubles title in May. "I was a little disappointed because I had my chances in the first set. That's a testament to what a great player she is."
Burdette held a 5-2 lead in the first set before Bartoli won 11 consecutive games to advance into the quarterfinals and a match against fifth-seeded Yanina Wickmayer not before 2 p.m. on Friday.
For Burdette, it's just the beginning. She's hitting the road to try her hand at several USTA pro circuit events. She'll be in Evansville, IN next week and then it's on to Kentucky.
"I'm looking forward to seeing what it's like on the tour this summer," said Burdette, whose older sister Lindsay (also a former Stanford All-American) acted as her coach.
As for facing Bartoli, it was a significant step in her development.
"I will remember this," she said. "I love playing at this pace and I loved hitting the ball with Marion. She showed what a champion is. If you don't take advantage of the chances you have, they will take it from you."
Bartoli was impressed with the way Burdette came to play.
"She took the ball very early and hit winners into the corners," Bartoli said. "She was just too good. I waited for her to calm down and I tried to step up on the court more. In the second set, I played very well."
Bartoli also got to live out a dream by playing with Pete Sampras on Wednesday, before he was injured during an exhibition match against Michael Chang, who is married to Stanford grad and former NCAA singles champion Amber Liu.
"It's incredible. I've always dreamed of playing with Sampras since I was seven or eight," Bartoli said. "I had no idea 21 years later, at Stanford, I would do that. I was so stressed I could barely hold my racket."
In other matches, third-seeded Dominika Cibulkova beat Erika Sema, 6-1, 6-3, and Urzula Radwanska knocked off eighth-seeded Marina Erakovic, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.
Coco Vandeweghe and Radwanska open Friday's session at noon. Cibulkova and Cirstea meet in the late match.
Serena Williams and Chanelle Scheepers play the 7 p.m. featured match.