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)