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Marion's Masterpiece and the Bryans' Golden Slam

by Nicholas McCarvel
Saturday 6 July 2013

On the second Saturday of The Championships 2013, a Wimbledon that was wacky from the start had a few twists in its finish, with Marion Bartoli playing on-fire tennis, the Bryan brothers winning their record 15th major title and Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai notching a surprise doubles win. Read more from the day that was...

Match of the Day: [15] Marion Bartoli def. [23] Sabine Lisicki 6-1, 6-4
In the end, Marion Bartoli's tennis was just too good. The Frenchwoman, at 28 years old, came into Saturday's final as somewhat of an underdog against Sabine Lisicki, who had summoned her best tennis to beat Serena Williams and Agnieszka Radwanska among others on her way to the final. While Bartoli didn't face a player inside the Top 15, she was sensational on Saturday, blasting the ball off both wings and not looking deterred at all against the German, who seemed shaken by nerves upon the big occasion. Bartoli, playing in her 47th major, sets a record for most Grand Slams played before winning her first title, previously held by Jana Novotna (who was playing her 45th Slam when she won Wimbledon in 1998). Bartoli gains her eighth career title and will move up to No.8 in the world following the win.

Honorary Match of the Day [1] Bob and Mike Bryan def. [12] Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4
For a while it looked a little dicey, but in the end, the Bryan brothers prevailed. Mike and Bob fell down 5-0 early to Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo in the gentlemen's doubles final, but re-grouped in order to complete a four-set win, which gave them their fourth straight doubles major - dating back to the U.S. Open in September. The brothers, who now own 15 majors (a record), also own the Olympic gold in doubles, having won at the All England Club less than a year ago. How'd they celebrate? A chest bump, of course!

Honorary Match of the Day: [8] Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai def. [12] Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua 7-6, 6-1
The Australian duo had set points at 5-3 in the first but botched those, giving the duo from China and Chinese Taipei the opening they needed, as Peng and Hsieh rolled off three straight games to take a 6-5 lead, then built a 5-1 lead in the tie-break when they got there. After capturing the first set, there was little looking back for the team, the Asian pair winning six of seven games to seal the title. For Hsieh, she becomes the first Grand Slam champ from Chinese Taipei of any kind.

Stats of the Day
Marion Bartoli becomes just the sixth player in the Open Era at Wimbledon to win the title without dropping a set. Serena Williams was the last to do it in 2010 (she also did it in 2002). Venus Williams, Chris Evert, Lindsay Davenport and Martina Navratilova (four times) are the others who have done so.

Bartoli is the fifth oldest Slam winner of all time at 28 years, nine months old. Francesca Schiavone (29 years, 11 months at the French Open in 2010), Jana Novotna (29 years, nine months at Wimbledon 1998), Kerry Melville Reid (29 years, four months at the Australian Open 1977) and Li Na (29 years, three months at the French Open 2011).

Since 1998, the winners of the ladies' singles title at Wimbledon hail from just four different countries: Czech Republic (Jana Novotna and Petra Kvitova), United States (Lindsay Davenport, Venus and Serena Williams), Russia (Maria Sharapova) and France (Amelie Mauresmo and Marion Bartoli).

With their 15th major win, the Bryan brothers continue their dominance in the sport, furthering their record of Grand Slams won. They now have won four straight majors: the U.S. Open in 2012 and all three majors to start this year with the Australian Open, the French Open and Wimbledon. Furthering the wow factor, the brothers won Olympic gold here less than a year ago.

The three ladies' winners this year - Bartoli, Hsieh and Peng - all play with double-handed forehands and backhands. Bring back shades of Monica Seles, don't they?

Quotes of the Day
"For me finishing with an ace in a Wimbledon final, in my wildest dreams I'd never believe it!! I've been practising my serve for so long, at least I saved it for the best moment." - Marion Bartoli on clinching her Wimbledon trophy with an ace

"But just to finish on an ace to win Wimbledon and you saw the chalk come out of the line. Just, I mean, I could have seen it in slow motion. I could see the ball landing, the chalk come out, it's an ace, and I just win Wimbledon. You can't describe that kind of feeling. You cannot put any words what I feel in this moment. I can't believe I won Wimbledon this year. We'll have to see the pictures, to see the match again on DVD to kind of starting to realize it." - More from Bartoli

"It's hard to even dream that we'd have the slam, all four at one time. It all started back after we won the gold. It just felt like a huge pressure was released...I feel like we're hitting our peak." - Mike Bryan on the brothers holding all four Slams at once

Tweet of the Day
Waw! Amazing tennis all tournament from bartoli . One of the hardest working girls On tour and one of the nicest too! Congrats to her team

— Kim Clijsters (@Clijsterskim), former world No.1 and two-time Wimbledon semi-finalist

'Did You Just See?' of the Day
In the Royal Box on Saturday sat the royalty of women's tennis, a smattering of Wimbledon champions among them. Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova, both multiple-time winners here were front and centre, joined by Maria Bueno (a three-time winner), Margaret Court (also winning three times), 1997 champion Martina Hingis, 1977 winner Virginia Wade and 1998 champ Jana Novotna. Other dignitaries of the women's tennis world present were WTA CEO Stacey Allaster, 1997 French Open champ Iva Majoli and two-time Slam finalist Helena Sukova. Amelie Mauresmo, who won the title here in 2006, was also in attendance, sitting in Bartoli's players' box as they've been working together on a consulting basis.

Video of the Day: How did Marion Bartoli and Sabine Lisicki ready for the ladies' final? Watch:

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20:24...But boy, it was a barrow-load of fun. I hope you enjoyed it even half as much as we did. Thank you for all your messages throughout, you've been the glue holding us together as the edges frayed amid the madness. Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for us Brits to raise a toast to Andy Murray and Fred Perry. British sporting legends both.

20:19It was the wackiest of Wimbledons with the most unlikely of headline-makers: Sergiy Stakhovsky, Steve Darcis, Michelle Larcher de Brito, Kimiko-Date Krumm, Jerzy Janowicz, Sabine Lisicki, Marion Bartoli...

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