Six years after making a surprise run to the Wimbledon final, Marion Bartoli repeated the feat when again she was not even close to the list of favorites to reach that far, this time even making that crucial last step to lift the Venus Rosewater Dish. In Saturday’s final, the 28-year-old Frenchwoman kept all the ropes in her hands and her opponent, another absolutely unexpected finalist Sabine Lisicki, could not even get her game going. In both sets she was on the verge of crying, stuck by Bartoli’s constant pressure.
En route to the final Lisicki’s opponents had an average rank of 22, featuring three Grand Slam champions, this year’s Eastbourne champion, a former Wimbledon quarterfinalist and last year’s Wimbledon finalist (Francesca Schiavone, Elena Vesnina, Sam Stosur, Serena Williams, Agnieszka Radwanska), while Bartoli’s opponents had an average rank of 64, but Bartoli came to the final with just one thing on her mind, she was so obviously focused, and marched to the most prestigious tennis trophy without even losing a set! Amazing! Before the tournament started, I don’t know if Bartoli would even be among the Top 20 favorites for the title.
After dropping serve in the first game, the 15th-seeded Bartoli broke back right away and soon broke again, won her service game to love, then broke again, and another serve won to love earned her the first set, 6-1. Lisicki opened the second set by holding serve for the first time, but that was a short breath she could take, as Bartoli pressured back and raced to a 5-1 lead. Lisicki got some hope in her comeback from 1-5 to 4-5 in the second set, but Bartoli impressively served it out to love in the following game, winning on her fourth championship point. Final score: 6-1 6-4.
In the first round Bartoli defeated Elina Svitolina, then Christina McHale, Camila Giorgi, Karin Knapp, seed No.17 Sloane Stephens in the quarterfinals, seed No.20 Kirsten Flipkens in the semifinals, and finally seed No.23 Lisicki. (photos: Johan Rivera, sr_cranks)
This was a bit disappointing, Lisicki absolutely couldn’t handle the pressure but never mind, maybe next time. Bartoli deserved it, she was very focused and determined, she took her- probably- last chance to win a slam. Lisicki needs to learn how to handle these kind of situations. She did well, beat Serena and Aga, hopefully these wins made her stronger. She’s got time to develop.
Well done to Marion but I have to agree – Lisicki just wasn’t up for it today. It was sad to see her crying out there. I think that today it was her nerves that betrayed her rather than the physique. Anyway, great job by both players. I really enjoyed watching this final. 🙂
Lisicki couldn’t handle those pressures. I think it’s a lot like RG 2010 where Stosur had beat Henin, Serena and JJ but in the final lost to Schiavone who had a relatively path to the final with retirement-victory over Dementieva and winning injured Woz in the quarters. But all the credit to Marion, she played well and it’s not her fault that she didn’t play top names.
Excellent comments above. I didn’t actually see the final after seeing a lot of this great tournament this year but the same thing had occurred to me tenniz-fan. In each case the lady I wanted to win, lost but credit to opponent ; you can only play the player in front of you
Marion was a class act. I was especially touched that she was so warm and cordial to Sabine — and the fact that she gave credit to Billie Jean. Marion has moved way up in my list of favorites.
I watched the match on ESPN where the commentary was almost exclusively directed toward offering excuses for Sabine.
“Sh’e won big matches and is drained.”
“She’s emotionally spent.”
And on and on and on…
There was so much excuse making it seemed as though if Marion did win they’d give her a half sized trophy and put an asterisk by her name in the wall of champions.
That does a disservice to Marion and women’s tennis.
It perpetuates the stereotype that women can’t compete without being fragile.
It discounts the fact that Marion was playing excellent all court tennis.
Congratulations to Sabine for a fine Wimbledon and to Marion who richly deserved it.
More important, congratulations to Jelena Jankovic. You know. JJ. The pretty woman. Congratulations to her for her quarter in doubles, her good singles play and…
For taking care of that smoking body.
(and how, in fact, will ESPN publish a Body Issue this year without JJ in it? How is this possible?)
After many years,that’s good for Bartoli. She deserve it..But I think Lisicki score under for her excitement ..
Peter Detruse ; excellent post till the JJ bit!
I was pulling for Marion because she is precisely the sort of player who will rise to the occasion presented to her, to the best of her abilities. The clearly talented but “nice” headcases like Sabine or Ivanovic or Hantuchova never get my vote because they don’t know how to win when it matters, when nice or being pretty mean nothing. Which is why, though I don’t particularly favor Sharapova, I have a lot of respect for her. She takes the moment and isn’t nice or apologetic about it, ever. Congrats Marion!