Re: Marion in Miami.
Next up was Bartoli and Yakimova on court 3. Szavai had just finished up on this court, and as I walked in, I saw Marion walking toward me from the stands--she had been watching the prior match from the bleachers instead of waiting in the locker room! You don't see that much in Miami...As she was patiently navigating toward the court entrance, I said "Hello, Marion! Good luck!" as we were face to face. She said "thank you" but looked a little subdued. I really think she wasn't feeling well. By the end of warm up, she was sweating quite a bit. Her legs, especially, were covered in sweat. She was broken early, and while she broke back and leveled at 2-2, that was the high point of the day for her. She was making tons of UEs, but credit Yakimova for making her work harder out there than she obviously was able to. Near the end of the 1st set she called her Dad out for coaching, but he didn't have much to say, as I think they were both resigned to the fact that it just wasn't her day. Walter was sitting a row down and a couple of seats over from me in this match, and I really didn't see him change expressions the whole time.
Marion took an extended toilet break after set 1, and while she fought on in set 2, she just never got in a position where she was ahead, and I think that in and of itself probably weighed her down mentally and contributed to her defeat. Yakimova is short, and petite, and I think she just handled the heat better than Marion did. I made a few videos of Marion in this match, including one of her footwork on the serve, which is among the oddest and most mechanical you'll ever see.
Marion looked over to the stands a lot, and I let her know I was supporting her by demonstratively clapping (so did some others) but I think she was looking for answers more than anything.
Maybe it was just the heat. Remember she played awfully in the AO QF when it was hot.