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Sep 16th, 2007, 01:00 AM
please posts any articles and interviews here. :wavey:

Sep 16th, 2007, 01:01 AM

Calcutta: Marion Bartoli, the James Bond girl, is here to participate in the third edition of the Sunfeast Open. This is the top seed’s first visit to the city.

The Frenchwoman answered questions exhaustively about the game and her life at a press conference on Saturday.

The following are excerpts

Q You are the world No. 10 now. Why did you decide to take part in the Sunfeast Open, a Tier III tournament?

I enjoy exploring new countries and cities. I have played in Hyderabad once in 2004. I also visited Beijing last year. I wanted to try out the Calcutta experience. And certainly, also to garner some valuable points.

You have played against Sania Mirza. What have you to say about her game?

I have played her just once, in the 2005 US Open when she came out tops. She’s tough to play. More so in India.

What has been your most memorable experience on the tour so far?

Without a doubt it was defeating world No. 1 Justine Henin in the Wimbedon semi-final this year. I consider that my biggest achievement yet.

Monica Seles is supposed to have inspired you

I have watched her play and was inspired to take up that double-handed forehand that has worked wonders for me.

Outside the game, who has been your greatest inspiration?

I have drawn a lot of inspiration from people who gave their all to bring global peace. And from that point of view, Mahatma Gandhi has had a great influence on me.

That said, I also try to be myself, inspire and seek motivation in my own way.

You started off by doing well on the hard courts. But this year you reached the Wimbledon final. Which surface do you prefer?

I grew up playing on hard courts. But now I’m doing well on the grass courts. I’m basically enjoying playing on both surfaces.

You don’t play doubles any more?

No. I played doubles when I was younger, in order to get more practice. Now I’m totally concentrating on singles.

Your opinion about the Hawk-Eye?

(Chuckling) If the Hawk-Eye’s opinion goes my way, I like it, if it doesn’t, I don’t... Seriously, though, the presence of the Hawk-Eye makes it that much easier to concentrate on the game.

Don’t you feel your showing has not been consistent with the promise shown at Wimbledon?

Wimbledon has been tough and it took me more than a month to recover. Now I’m coming back into my groove. I think my game is pretty good right now. I am exploiting my strengths well. I am now the No. 1 in my country, ranked higher than Amelie Mauresmo and Mary Pierce.

How is life on the Tour?

It’s always been good. And after Wimbledon, it’s better than ever before. Right now, I cannot think of life without tennis.

Your next target?

To win a Grand Slam, of course.

Your brother is a soccer fan. Do you watch soccer too? Did you watch the France-Italy World Cup final?

The Italians are great at pushing people’s nerves. Materrazi did a great job of pushing Zidane’s patience to the brink. He lost his cool and France the final. Zidane is by far a better player than Materazzi though.

And how was it to have Pierce Brosnan in the stands during that famous Wimbledon semi-final against Henin?

That was the icing on the cake, to have James Bond cheering me on. An experience I will cherish.