Bartoli out to prove Wimbledon was no fluke
By Matthew Cronin
STANFORD, California, July 23, (Reuters) - France's Marion Bartoli
is eager to prove her dream run to the Wimbledon final earlier this month was no fluke. Bartoli, 22, stunned third seed Jelena Jankovic
and world number one Justine Henin
at the All England Club before falling to Venus Williams
in the final as she soared to a career-high 11th in the world rankings.
The second seed at this week's Stanford Classic in California, Bartoli says she proved a lot of doubters wrong.
"Not a lot of people believed I could get there except my dad and myself, but I showed everyone that I can be one of the top players in the world," Bartoli told Reuters.
"Some (analysts) said physically Marion is not good enough and she'll never be there and I showed to everyone that they were completely wrong.
"Tatiana (Golovin) and Nathalie (Dechy) didn't reach a Grand Slam final. Amelie Mauresmo
and Mary Pierce
did and I'm the next one. I demonstrated to everyone that I was able to be there, too."
Bartoli has worked her way up the rankings and ended last year at number 17 after winning three titles, but few expected her to go further than any of her countrywomen at the French Open, where she reached the fourth round, or at Wimbledon.
But with fast hands, blazing groundstrokes and a dogged determination, Bartoli overcame the inconsistent play that had plagued her in previous Grand Slams.
"You have to have a lot of belief in yourself because you have tough moments," said Bartoli, who is coached by her father, Walter.
"And you need a good dad and coach to tell you can do it. He always told me I belonged up there. When I beat Justine, I heard on the TV that I was just in the zone, but that wasn't right.
"I was playing the level that I play in practice but not always in a match."
Bartoli is very close to her father, but the relationship has cost her.
FED CUP FEUD
France's Fed Cup captain Georges Goven left her off the team that fell to Italy two weeks ago in the semi-finals because she would not participate in the tie without her father in attendance.
Goven said she would be too tired to play after her Wimbledon exertions, a reason rejected by Bartoli.
"I don't want too disturb the group, so if it's better to have four girls together than with one who is separate, it's okay."
Bartoli was hoping that after her Wimbledon run that she would have received calls of congratulations from her fellow players, but she did not.
Pierce sent her a text message, as did French president Nicolas Sarkozy, but none of the rest of her fellow players did.
"Tatiana can pass by me and not even say hello, so I'm sure she's not going to congratulate me," Bartoli said.
Bartoli received a first-round bye at Stanford and will play the winner of the match between Americans Lilia Osterloh
and Jill Craybas