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Marion Bartoli - preview of final

Friday 5 July 2013

Marion Bartoli speaks to the media in advance of the 2013 ladies' final

Q.  Are you excited?

MARION BARTOLI:  A little bit, yeah.  Why not?  I mean, playing the Wimbledon final, I think that's quite a good match to be excited about.

Q.  How much does it help that you've been here before and you know what to expect from the nerves and how that affects you?

MARION BARTOLI:  Well, we'll see after the match.  But, of course, having the experience of being out there already, especially on the same court, the same stage, will all definitely help.

But I think a final is always extremely open, and I know I will have to play the perfect match if I want to have a chance to win tomorrow.

Q.  How would you describe the differences in your style of play and Sabine's?

MARION BARTOLI:  Oh, I think ‑‑ I don't know.  It's hard to say.  We both hit the ball pretty hard, pretty flat.  Sabine is definitely serving faster than me, especially on the first serve.

I might take the ball a bit earlier.  But obviously we both have the same thing, playing fairly flat and from the baseline and trying to hit some winners.

So that's definitely very common to both of us.

Q.  What do you think the key to the match is?

MARION BARTOLI:  There is so many keys.

I think, first of all it will be a battle of nerves and who is able to come up with the best game on that day.

Again, as I said, a final of a Grand Slam is always a matter of details.  Maybe a point here, a point there will make the difference.  Maybe someone who is a bit more gutsy than the other player, someone who is having a better day than the others.

We are very close in terms of level, I believe.  It will be, I'm sure, a pretty good match.

Q.  Do you think it's important having been in a final before, whereas this is Sabine's first time?

MARION BARTOLI:  Again, it's hard to say before the match if it's an advantage or not.  I'm feeling less stress than I was for my first final, for sure.  Hopefully it will help me.

But, I mean, Sabine has played some amazing tennis so far.  She might be too good for me tomorrow, as well.

I think having the advantage of playing a final already will help me dealing with my nerves.  But then of course I have to deal with her level of game, which is also very hard to deal with.  I will see how it goes for me.

But I just want really to go out there and leave it all on the court and have no regrets when I will leave the court.

Q.  Are you aware that Sabine has become popular, especially since the Serena victory?  Are you ready for the fact that perhaps the majority of the people on court will be supporting her?  How do you deal with that kind of atmosphere?

MARION BARTOLI:  Well, I don't think I will have the whole crowd against me (laughter).

But at the end of the day, she's not British, as far as I know, so...

I think it will be pretty fair regarding that.  I mean, it will really depend on the way I'm playing and if I'm able to put a great level of tennis.

I think the crowd will just enjoy a great match hopefully.

Q.  Sabine has said she's comfortable here off the court, too.  She lives in a house and cooks.  Do you feel that way off the court, as well?

MARION BARTOLI:  Yeah, absolutely.  I love to do my own cooking at night.  I love to have my day off, going to Wimbledon Village, have a nice breakfast, taking my time.

You feel less stress.  You feel a bit like you're at home at some point.  It's true that it's a very comfy tournament.  I believe that's why every player is loving it so much here, compared to New York City or whatever, where you feel a lot more stress around, there is a lot more things going on.

But, you know, it has been an amazing run so far.  I've had some great time off the court, on the court as well.  I just want to finish on a happy ending.

Q.  Your very first tournament this year you made a comment about the biggest goal for you in 2013 is to win a Grand Slam.  So how do you look back, how do you react, now that it's just one step away?

MARION BARTOLI:  Yeah, when you set some goals for the year and it's about to come, you try to really set the highest goal as possible, obviously.  Of course, it's more like a dream for me to win a Grand Slam really.

If I'm totally honest, my goal was to be in the final again of a Grand Slam.  But of course now that I am in the final, I just don't want to lose.  So it's kind of wanted to win the Grand Slam, but it's really unexpected for me to be there, especially regarding what happens at the beginning of the year.

But I've been able, again, to put some hard work on the court, off the court, and to still believe to myself that I can do it.

Obviously, I have a grand chance to achieve that tomorrow.

Q.  Can you give us some details what you'll do in the morning to get ready?

MARION BARTOLI:  Well, I will listen to the same music I've been listening to.  It's kind of giving me some good vibes, so we'll keep doing that.

I will follow the same routine, which is a good physical warmup before going on court and then maybe a half an hour hit.

If I need to catch a sleep, I will do before the match.  Otherwise I will just get a warmup before the final and just going on court ready to fight.

Q.  Do you have anything lucky to take with you, any lucky charms?

MARION BARTOLI:  I have my wallet iPod phone that I'm taking with me.  Again, I will listen just to the same music just before going on court from my friend.  I'm sure it will help me to move a little faster.

Q.  Most say they don't appreciate the run the first time because it happens so fast.  Are you able to slow it down a little bit and say, Now I can enjoy because I've done this before?  How much have you been able to do that?

MARION BARTOLI:  Not really.  I think I will be able to enjoy it when it will be over and I will be at home and I will just relax and took all the pressure off and kind of having the time to really rethink about everything I've done throughout those two weeks.

Right now I'm just so focused into my tournament still.  I just want to play the best tennis I can tomorrow and give it all on the court.

Honestly, I'm not at the point saying, It's amazing.  I'm in the final of Wimbledon.  I'm just about to play a second Grand Slam final.  I'm not in that mood at all.  I just want to win the match tomorrow and just be ready for the fight again.

Q.  After your semifinal win, you said you felt you deserved to be in the final because you've had some tough times on and off the court.  Could you enlighten us what these tough times have been?

MARION BARTOLI:  Well, there is something off the court, and it's pretty much private.  But, you know, it kind of affects me on my mood and my results because it was some tough things to deal with.

But, again, I believe that what not kill you makes you stronger, and I just was able to come back stronger.  Now I'm just so happy again and so smily.  I'm having a great time off the court.  I'm having an awesome time on the court.  Everything is perfect again.

But, yes, I had some very low moment when I felt I pretty much hit rock bottom.  But I kept my head up and I just wanted to win some matches again and have some good memories on the court again.  That's what drove me every single day to go on the court, practice hard, and try to improve on my game and my physical shape, as well.

Obviously I put the hard work, but it pay off.

Q.  Did you ever think about retiring?

MARION BARTOLI:  No, not until that point, thanks God.  But there is some few things you have to deal with that is in your private life that are not easy.

But it's life and you have to deal with them and just face the reality and go through.

Q.  Who is here supporting you?  How do they support you?

MARION BARTOLI:  Oh, we'll have a lot of friends.  I receive a lot of text messages obviously since yesterday.  I met along this tough path some amazing persons, and I am so pleased I have been able to have them on my side.

They have been here when I had some tough moments and they know what I've been going through.  So it's going to be great to share those moments with them tomorrow, for sure.

Q.  Amélie has been in the final.  Can you tell us how she helps you?

MARION BARTOLI:  Today we haven't talked about it.  It's her birthday, so I just went this morning into the shop and got her some presents.  I didn't have the time yesterday night.  I just have to come up with an idea and something for her birthday today.

So it was a great moment also to share that also, having her birthday and me playing the final tomorrow.  It's kind of a nice birthday present.  Hopefully I will be able to win the trophy.

But I'm sure we will take a bit of time this afternoon to talk about it and see if she's able to give me a bit of tips on how to deal with the pressure.

Q.  How has she helped you in general?

MARION BARTOLI:  She's helping me with the way I need to deal with my stress and with my energy out of the court.  Sometimes I was losing too many energy being too focused for too long, especially a lot of times before the matches.  I felt when I was going on court, I was already tired from it.

So she's really helping me to just cool down when I'm off the court, have some great time, have some fun, and just be really focused maybe 15, 20 minutes before going on court and not like a day before or whatever.

Q.  In 2007, you invited Pierce Brosnan to come and invite you.

MARION BARTOLI:  I knew that was coming (laughter).

Q.  Have you sent out any special invites this year?  Daniel Craig not there for you?

MARION BARTOLI:  Ryan Gosling maybe (laughter).

I think I will have a lot of support and I will have some great friends coming.  I'm sure that will give me a lot of energy, believe me.

Q.  You've been described as an unlikely finalist.  Do you think that's fair?

MARION BARTOLI:  I've been described as an unlikely finalist?

Q.  Unlikely.

MARION BARTOLI:  Well, what can I say?  I won six matches and I didn't have any retirement.  I went on the court and I won my matches.  I didn't lost a set, so...

I think the facts speak by themself.


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