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Marion Bartoli - quarter-final

Tuesday 2 July 2013

Marion Bartoli speaks to the press following her quarter-final victory over Sloane Stephens 6-4, 7-5.

Q.  Were you surprised by the crowd booing you because you complained about the weather?

MARION BARTOLI:  Honestly, it didn't matter much to me.  They wanted to see some tennis, and that's normal.  I was feeling the courts were getting very slippery, so I felt it was more kind of a game between each other.

But you know what?  It's normal for them to cheer for their underdog, and I feel I did pretty well with that, as well.

Q.  It made tennis difficult for you in the second set because the crowd were very much behind Stephens.

MARION BARTOLI:  I had that back in 2007 when I was the underdog.  I had really the crowd for me as well.  It's part of the game.  You just have to deal with that.

At the end of the day when I was playing a great point, they were still clapping for me.  It was just a matter of staying focused and be able to do the job.

Q.  Was that something you had to learn to do, learn to deal with crazy conditions, strange things, and just focus?  Have you always been good at that, or is that something you developed over time?

MARION BARTOLI:  Well, I thought I could have done better even today, obviously, especially when I had this 5‑3 lead, 30‑Love on my serve.  I could have closed out the match before.

You know, I've been really much prepared about everything, especially my childhood and the way my dad was make me practicing, and the condition I had to practice into was really the toughest in the world.

He has always been my strength to really be able to focus mentally and stay strong no matter what is happening.

Q.  She's young.  She's just getting into these situations.  Could you feel her fraying, or do you not notice what is going on over there and just worry about the ball and you?

MARION BARTOLI:  I really thought she played some amazing shots, especially when I was leading that game 5‑3.  She came up with some backhands down the line that were really amazing.  I thought she fought extremely hard, as well.

You know, I think for someone ‑ I think she's 19 or something ‑ she's doing an awesome job out there.  She really played some great tennis again today.  I thought I was playing well.  She was running really well.  On grass, it's very tough.

All credit to her.  I think we play some great tennis, both of us.  Obviously it turns out my way.  But it could also have been her day.  She could have beat me today, as well.

Q.  Your returning has always been the strength of your game.  You won 16 of the first 17 points of the second set on her serve.  Have you ever felt that in a zone?  What was going on there?

MARION BARTOLI:  Yeah, it's funny 'cause I felt before the rain delay it was the opposite:  I couldn't get a grip on her return of serve.  One game I got a Love‑40 lead, otherwise I was holding my serve pretty comfortably but was not able to break Sloane.  When the rain delay came, it was totally the opposite.

Yeah, for some reason I felt really good on my return of serve the second part and not on my serve.  So I don't know.  I felt, yes, the return of serve has been a strength.

Q.  Have you ever played a match before with eight consecutive breaks of serve?

MARION BARTOLI:  Well, you know, it's part of the game.  But I remember, yes, a match against Jelena Jankovic also here on the same court and we couldn't hold our serve.

At the end I finally hold it and I end up winning the match.  It was about the same situation as today.  But I was just trying really to do my best out there, no matter if I was serving or returning.

I thought for a grass court match, it was a good one.

Q.  You weren't 100% at the French Open; you withdrew from Birmingham; you pulled out of Eastbourne with a virus.  Are you surprised to find yourself back into the semifinals after everything that you had to go through over the course of the last month?

MARION BARTOLI:  Well, I think in a way it make me stronger, to be honest with you.  I felt, yes, my body was cracking up all over the place.  I felt my ankle was hurting me still in the French Open.

Couldn't really be able to be ready for Birmingham, unfortunately, and then got this bad virus at Eastbourne.

But I was still in the back of my head thinking I could do well in here.  And obviously every time for some reason, I don't know why, I'm back here, I have a smile on my face.  I felt great right away.

Obviously playing those two tough matches against Christina and Giorgi also helped me be strong into the second week.

You know, tennis is kind of a crazy game, and now I am playing Kirsten Flipkens to be in the final of Wimbledon.  So it's also very unexpected, but that's also the magic of it.

Q.  Back when you were making your great run to the final and you had your win over Justine, you told us then that you looked up and there was Pierce Brosnan cheering you on.  You said, If he's here, I have to play better.  What would be the one celebrity you would like to be here for your semi?

MARION BARTOLI:  Well, actually we have an appointment with Pierce in the final.  We end up taking the same plane from Heathrow to L.A.  He recognized me.  I don't know how, but it happened.

We kind of having a chat around a glass of champagne and we met up a meeting for the final of Wimbledon, so I'm one match out of that meeting.

He really helped me to somehow take some pressure off, not really thinking about the situation where I was against who I was playing, just focus on him.  It was really kind of a way for me to relax.  Kind of worked really well.

Now, I don't know.  I'm good friend with Bob Sinclar.  I don't know if you know him.  He's a great D.J.

Obviously, I have a great team around me that really help me to pump me up and help me play some great tennis as well.

Q.  Is it sometimes a distraction?

MARION BARTOLI:  Yeah, I have some weird motivations sometimes I can fight off, but somehow it's working.  I can't tell you all of them, but sometimes it's a bit crazy.

But it's a good way for me to somehow take the pressure off and just focus on something else.


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