Kerber became the first German to win the Paris tournament since Steffi Graf in 1995. Kerber, a U.S. Open semifinalist, won the match with a forehand winner.
After a first set with four service breaks, Kerber capitalized on an unforced error from Bartoli to take a 4-1 lead in the tiebreaker. She took the opening set when the Frenchwoman's backhand sailed long.
Kerber then whipped a forehand crosscourt winner to break for a 2-0 lead in the next set. But she failed to serve out the match at 5-3, with Bartoli winning four straight games to even the match with an ace.