Thursday 4 July 2013
Marion Bartoli’s Wimbledon press conference after her 6-1, 6-2 victory against Kirsten Flipkens.
Q. We’re all fascinated that you’re able to sleep before a semifinal match. Can you explain why you need to sleep, why it’s important so close to the game.
MARION BARTOLI: Yeah, well, I felt I was just maybe a bit tired and I needed a quick nap just to recover from my early morning practice and everything I had to do to be ready to go on court.
So it was just a quick nap of 15, 20 minutes, and go on court.
But so far it’s working extremely well, so I don’t see why I should change that.
Q. Did you set your alarm?
MARION BARTOLI: No. I just said to Vick, the physio upstairs, to wake me up just in case (laughter).
I actually woke up by myself at 12:30. I went to a warmup at 12:40. That’s just the way I am.
Q. What will you do before the final?
MARION BARTOLI: I don’t really have any specific plan before. It’s really more about how I’m feeling. If I’m feeling great, that I don’t feel I need a nap, then I will not sleep. But if I do feel like I need one, it’s not a problem for me to sleep and come back and be ready.
Q. Is there a place you can sleep in the dressing room? A couch?
MARION BARTOLI: Yeah, there is. I’m never really sleeping on the floor. (Laughing.) It’s the lady members dressing room in Wimbledon, so you can have a sofa to sleep, yeah.
Q. You talked the other day about having weird motivations. Did you have any weird motivations today that you can share with us?
MARION BARTOLI: Oh, yeah, I have some few. You might be able to see them coming out for the final in my box.
I just enjoy my time this year so much at Wimby obviously, and having a lot of fun outside the court as well and really carry on this great spirit with a smile.
Even before the semifinal we were making jokes to each other. He’s also helping me to kind of take the pressure away and not really think about how big occasion it is. But just go on court, have fun, and try my hardest.
Q. How does this time in the final feel different than the last time?
MARION BARTOLI: The last time I was so young, in a way. I was every time the underdog coming out on the court, which this time it was totally the opposite. I was this time the highest ranked player and I needed to put out a great performance in order to go through.
I think I’ve been able to deal with the pressure really well and keep improving throughout the Championships and keep playing better. Especially I think today I think I played a great match.
Q. Will it feel different playing against Lisicki or Radwanska as opposed to playing against Venus, who won the tournament three or four times already?
MARION BARTOLI: Yes, of course. But you can’t really compare the years. It’s been so long ago, honestly.
Last time what was the most difficult I felt was not having a day off between the two. Obviously, I finished extremely late against Justine and come back right away, less than 24 hours to play against Venus, it was really a hard task.
It was hard physically to recover from those kind of matches, where today I felt I played a fairly quick match and I have a day off tomorrow, so I will be totally fresh to go into the final.
Q. What do you consider the biggest differences in the way you play and the way you think from that time six years ago until now?
MARION BARTOLI: God, I think I’m serving better. I think I’m doing everything just better. I think I’m able to hit the ball harder. I’m moving faster.
I mean, I do just everything a bit better than what I was doing six years ago. I think if I would play myself now with my game six years ago compared with my game today I would probably be beating myself quite easily because I’m just doing everything better.
If you compare the speed of my shots, the way I’m moving, I’m just doing everything better, honestly.
Q. How about your happiness on the court?
MARION BARTOLI: Oh, it was about the same. If you look at my face when I was playing the semifinal, it was really just someone really happy to be there and play against Justine and kind of grabbing the match away from her and having this Pierce Brosnan view or, whatever.
But, you know, I’ve been growing up. I’ve been having some tough times, but I’ve always been able to come bark, bounce back, practice hard, and believe in myself.
I felt so great that today I’ve been able to put out this kind of performance. It was really a great match.
Q. We’re all writers here, but you like to paint for yourself. If you had to paint a picture of your incredible run to this final, would it be impressionistic? Abstract? Realistic? Van Gogh? Picasso?
MARION BARTOLI: Spirit of love, I don’t know. Well, it would be really something smily and enjoyable because I’m really feeling great. I’ve been able to just come out on court without feeling any pressure and just stay focused and mentally extremely strong but not stressed.
I really enjoyed every part of it, every part of those six matches, every second I was on the court. This kind of moment is coming from hard work, so I would have to put that in somehow.
Then the bright sun, smily two weeks that I have had so far. It would probably be a mix of the two. It would be maybe a gray sky at some part, and then the sunshine is coming out.
Q. A little Monet, or not really?
MARION BARTOLI: A little Manet maybe.
Q. Fans say they enjoy the routine you do between points. Do you always do the same thing? Do you have a routine you work through?
MARION BARTOLI: Well, actually I’ve been doing that forever. I have some tapes of myself when I was seven years old or six years old, and I was still doing the same. It’s just part of me. It’s just a great way for me to, again, focus on the next point, focus on what I need to do, not thinking about this court, the occasion, the breakpoint, the game point, whatever. Just trying to be ready for what’s coming.
It’s not like I want to annoy my opponent. It’s really me trying to be ready for the point that is coming out.
Q. Given that it was your most difficult season ever, certainly on court, maybe a little bit off court, you’re not a tiny bit amazed you made it to this stage?
MARION BARTOLI: What does that mean? Does that mean it was really totally unexpected to be there?
Well, I believe as a sportsperson you cannot have always some highs, and you have to go through some low moments to enjoy even more the highs.
But, yes, I’ve been having some tough moments ? most out of the court than on the court, to be honest with you. But I think carry on the same attitude every single day on the practice court and in the gym and whatever helped me to really bounce back and to come back in the great shape that I am right now.
Obviously it shows that determination and truth for every single day always pays off.
Q. Did you feel it was inevitable you would get back to a Grand Slam final?
MARION BARTOLI: I felt I deserved it.
Q. You say you turn your back so as to not disturb your opponent. Have you ever turned around to find a ball coming straight towards you?
MARION BARTOLI: Well, usually you have 20 seconds between each point. It’s not like someone is going to throw me a ball before me getting ready.
So far, no, it never happens. But I was always ready before Kirsten. It’s not like I’m really annoying her with making her wait or whatever. I think you could see the hug we had at the end of the match. I think it was a great moment to share that as well.
Q. How has it been making this run without your dad here?
MARION BARTOLI: Yeah, he’s coming for the final. Don’t worry. Yeah.
Q. Are you having more fun or do you think fun was missing before?
MARION BARTOLI: No, I think fun has always been a part of my personality. I’ve always been someone who love to smile and have a laugh. That’s really who I am deeply.
Of course sometimes in your life you have some sad moments and it’s hard to keeping a smile on your face.
But, you know, I’ve been able to build a great run here, and right now I’m smiling of course more. You know, I could have lost in the second round against Christina McHale. I was down 5-3 in the first set.
It’s not like I have been always just smiling and the match has been easy and everything has been going smoothly. It has been a tough road to the final. Today has been a little bit easier.
But I had to dig deep at some points, yeah.
Q. There’s also an element of intimidation involved in whacking your racquet in the air, running to the chair in between games?
MARION BARTOLI: I don’t know. You will have to ask that to my opponents. But really, when I’m on the court, I’m in my zone, in my bubble. I’m doing what I feel I need to do to be ready the best that I can.
There is nothing into my attitude to make my opponent scared or annoying her or disturbing her or whatever. I’m just trying, every time I’m on the court, to give my best.
Q. You said you felt you deserved to be in another Grand Slam final. Could you explain why you felt that way.
MARION BARTOLI: Because, again, I truly believe in hard work and determination. I felt I really put that every single day. Even if I was having some hard times outside of the court, I was still able to go on the practice court every day and practice hard no matter what was happening in my outside life, and remember myself every day I was a tennis player and what I wanted the most was to win matches.
Somehow I felt like those kind of attitudes should be rewarded at some point. And I believe in true determination and hard work. So I felt because I put that, I should have kind of a reward from it. Obviously I did this year.