Wimbledon

Bartoli having fun again

2013-07-05 16:01
Marion Bartoli (Getty Images)

London - Marion Bartoli admits her run to the Wimbledon final has put a smile back on her face just months after hitting rock-bottom when she sacked her father from his role as her coach.

Bartoli has played some of the best tennis of her life over the last two weeks at the All England Club as she swept into Saturday's final against Germany's Sabine Lisicki without dropping a set in her six matches.

The French 15th seed, a Wimbledon runner-up in 2007, is relishing her return to the spotlight so soon after a dark period when she struggled with the emotional decision to move on from her dad Walter, who had coached her since childhood.

Bartoli found it hard to strike up a rapport with a succession of replacement coaches, working for three matches with Jana Novotna and Iwona Kuczynska before being tutored by Gerald Bremond who quit after two weeks.

"There were some things off the court, it's pretty much private, but it kind of affected my mood and my results because it was tough to deal with," Bartoli said.

"I had some very low moments when I felt I pretty much hit rock bottom.

"But I kept my head up and I just wanted to win some matches and have some good memories on the court again.

"I believe what does not kill you makes you stronger and I just was able to come back stronger.

"Now I'm just so happy again and so smily."

Bartoli has always played with remarkable enthusiasm and intensity, but she concedes that attitude sometimes worked against her, making her unable to switch off away from the court and mentally drained before matches had even started

She finally appears to have found a way to harness that energy after hiring 2006 Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo.

Mauresmo has brought a calmer approach to Bartoli's preparations, to the extent that the 28-year-old was even willing to sleep up to 30 minutes before her semi-final win over Kirsten Flipkens on Thursday.

"She's helping me with the way I need to deal with my stress and with my energy out of the court," Bartoli said.

"Sometimes I was losing too much energy being too focused for too long, especially a lot of times before the matches.

"I felt when I was going on court, I was already tired from it.

"So she's really helping me to just cool down when I'm off the court, have some great time, have some fun, and just be really focused maybe 15, 20 minutes before going on court and not like a day before or whatever."

Guy Forget, France's former Davis Cup captain, believes Bartoli's ferocious competitive spirit is comparable to two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal.

"She's a prodigious force.

"She reminds me of Rafael Nadal in that she always sees the glass as half-full not half-empty.

"You sense that she is never plagued by doubt," said Forget.

Bartoli is seen by some as an unlikely Wimbledon finalist given her lack of success this year, but she issued a sharp rebuke to those critics.

"I won six matches and I didn't lose a set, so I think the facts speak by themself," she said.

While Lisicki will be playing in her first Grand Slam final, Bartoli knows all about the unique pressures of playing for the title.

Bartoli hopes that extra experience works in her favour, saying: "Of course having the experience of being out there already, especially on the same court, the same stage, will all definitely help.

"But I know I will have to play the perfect match to win. It will be a battle of nerves."

Read more on:    wimbledon  |  marion bartoli  |  tennis
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Wawrinka ready for Toronto

2014-07-25 14:12

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • SS3
    Fri, 25 Jul 2014 @
    04:00
  • SS4:
    Fri, 25 Jul 2014 @
    05:00
  • SS5:
    Fri, 25 Jul 2014 @
    06:00
  • Blitz
    Fri, 25 Jul 2014 @
    07:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Vote

Rafael Nadal won his 12th Grand Slam title at Roland Garros, while Roger Federer has 17 to his name. When all is said and done, who wins more?

 
 
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.