Former French tennis player Marion Bartoli is a fighter. Ever since taking up the sport as a kid, her dream was to win Wimbledon one day. When she was just one match short of winning the coveted title in 2007, seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams defeated the Frenchwoman in straight sets.
However, Bartoli kept the fire alive and battled through ailments and finally won the title at SW19 in 2013, defeating Germany’s Sabine Lisicki in an enthralling final. The Frenchwoman reminisced the memories and also talked about ‘King Richard’.
Former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli talks about Venus and Serena Williams
Bartoli has always maintained a great friendship with Venus and Serena Williams. In a recent interview to the website ‘We are Tennis’, the former Wimbledon champ said that she was able to see her father’s struggle while watching Richard Williams’ hardships.
“I have never been a great champion like Serena and Venus, but I identify a lot with this film. It is why I am good friends with Venus and Serena. Their dad, Richard, has always been nice to my father. They greeted each other warmly after the 2007 Wimbledon final. They have always thought out of the box”.
Bartoli continued, “People used to tell them it’s not how things are done, that there are other people who know better whom they should listen to… But they have always refused to follow a predefined path, to do like anyone else”.
Demi Singleton, Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Saniyya Sidney attend the 2021 AFI Fest Closing Night Premiere screening for “King Richard” at TCL Chinese theatre in Los Angeles, California, U.S. November 14, 2021. REUTERS/Ringo Chiu
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Bartoli donned multiple hats since retirement
Since retirement, the French player has played multiple roles as an analyst, an on-court interviewer, and was also a coach to Jelena Ostapenko.
Looking back at the match-ups between Bartoli and the Williams sisters, the Frenchwoman only managed to win just one match against Venus and Serena Williams. The duel started way back in 2003 and continued till 2011.
Bartoli also interviewed Serena on-court at this year’s French Open after the latter’s first-round victory. The duo played an exhibition match in a new format where only tie-breaks are played called ‘Tie break tens”.
The American defeated Bartoli quickly in-front of a packed Madison Square Garden crowd in 2018. Looking at the upcoming schedule of Serena Williams, it’s likely that the former world no.1 will play the Australian Open to chase her 24th Grand Slam title.