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Marion Bartoli - final

Saturday 6 July 2013

Marion Bartoli's press conference after her 6‑1, 6‑4 victory against Sabine Lisicki.

Q.  How did the experience of having been in the final here six years affect today?

MARION BARTOLI:  Well, I think after the match, of course I can say it really helped me to being out there before.  But I really felt I was playing probably my best match of the championship.  I was doing everything well.  I was moving well.  I was returning well.  I mean, I really played a wonderful match.

So it's really amazing to win Wimbledon.  And also playing well, as well, it's just unbelievable, honestly.

Q.  How do you not get past the quarters in any tournament this year and win Wimbledon?

MARION BARTOLI:  Well, that's me.  I don't know (laughter).

Honestly, I didn't think that way.  I was just trying to play well every single matches, every time I was on the court.  I was just, you know, trying to enjoy myself when I was having some off days.  I was having some time off with my team.

Even this morning I think a lot of people could hear us laughing.  It was normally today where I was supposed to play the Wimbledon final, and really felt not like that.

I think it will also make it even more enjoyable because I had so much fun throughout this whole championship.  The whole two weeks have just been perfect.

Q.  Were you surprised how Sabine handled the occasion?

MARION BARTOLI:  Honestly, I didn't think too much about how Sabine was doing.  I was just trying to focus on my own game and try to remain calm, even if I had this 5‑1 lead in the second set and 15‑40 and couldn't close it out.

Then Sabine start to play very well and come back at 5‑4.  I just really thought I had to hold my serve one more time.

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.

Q.  Everyone in the future when they talk about you are going to say, Wimbledon champion, Marion Bartoli.  How much do you think it will change your life?

MARION BARTOLI:  It will not change me as a person because I will always remain the same:  very humble, very low‑key and easygoing, down‑to‑earth.

But just hearing 'Wimbledon champion,' that kind of sounds good to me (smiling).  You know, has been my dream.  I wanted that so badly.  I felt the achievement of my career was to win a Grand Slam.  Every time I was just saying my goal was to win a Grand Slam.

It was like, yeah, dare to dream.  I kept dreaming.  I kept my head up.  I kept working hard, and it just happened.

Q.  I remember in January 2002 many people asked us to go on a court to watch a young girl.

MARION BARTOLI:  That was 11 years ago, God.

Q.  Returning the serve two meters back from the service line, and we thought you were crazy because nobody was doing that, trying to anticipate all the time.  How many times you thought that your tactic, your strategy, all what you were doing, could look crazy, even if they weren't at the end?  Your father was pushing you to do many different things than anybody else we have seen.

MARION BARTOLI:  Well, yeah, it's always been a part of my personality to be different.  I think being just like the other one is kind of boring.  I really embrace the fact of being a bit different and doing something that not everyone is absolutely doing.

I actually love that part of my game, you know, being able to have something different.  At the end of the day, when the spectators were looking at 10 matches they will remember this girl that was doing something different, playing inside the court or whatever.

Even though today I was I think pretty smart to kind of back up a little bit to give me an extra maybe half a second or something to react to Sabine's serve.  Sometimes you have to adapt also, as well.

But I never felt like I wanted to be like all the other kid and do exactly the same everyone was doing.

Q.  Could you tell us about your father's influence on your tennis and maybe even outside the court, what it meant for you to climb up there and hug him today.

MARION BARTOLI:  Yeah, honestly it was an amazing feeling.  I mean, I can't still realize I just won Wimbledon.  I can't realize I'm a Wimbledon champion.  It's just so overwhelming.

You know, I don't know if you can really realize, but for a tennis player, you start to play like at five or six years old.  When you decide to turn pro, your dream is to win a Grand Slam.  You dream about it every single day.  You think about it every single day.

So when it happen, when it actually happen, you felt like, you know, you achieve something that you dream about for maybe million of hours.  You went through pain, you went through tears, you went through low moments, and actually it happened, once it happened.

Those five, ten seconds before you shake the hands of your opponent, you felt like you're almost not walking any more on earth.  You're really flying.  It's really hard to describe how it felt.

So to share this moment with my dad, I was looking at him in the players' box.  He was really cheering me on.  He was on his phone for almost the whole match.  I don't know what was happening, but he was really relaxed.

That was the perfect day.  It was sunny.  It was beautiful.  Centre Court Wimbledon, it was packed.  I won in two sets.  I didn't drop a set for the whole championship.  Even in my perfect dream I couldn't have dreamed a perfect moment like that.  That is beyond perfection.

Q.  You've been around for many, many years.  The circuit is so challenging.  So many setbacks, yet you've prevailed.  Talk more about doing things your way.  Is there a certain strength in that?  Is it a challenge?

MARION BARTOLI:  Yeah, I'm a very tough person.  I mean, I played the whole second set with probably a 25 cents blister under my big toe.  I didn't call for the trainer, and when I took my sock off the sock was red of blood.

I didn't call for the trainer the whole second set, even if I felt like I could barely walk at the end of the match.  But I haven't shown anything.  I'm this kind of person.  I can focus and be really as strong as wood, you know.  You cannot see what I'm going through.

I think it's coming from my childhood, from where I practice when I was younger, from those very tough situation.  I needed to handle going to school, normally practicing at 10:00 p.m., finishing at midnight, going back to school the next day.  Those kind of hard moments makes me extremely strong when I'm on the tennis court.

I'm not the same kind of person outside, but every time I'm stepping on a tennis court I remember those very hard moments.  I could remember it today when I was playing on the court, and That carried me on a long way.

Q.  You've had experts on television demolishing the way you serve the ball.  You were also booed by the crowd on Court 1 when you wanted a rain delay.  Does it give you extra pride to think you're a little bit different and you've done it as someone who is a little bit different?  Does it make it extra special for you that you're different from the rest?

MARION BARTOLI:  Well, I felt I received a tremendous amount of support today.  When I was on the court, you could see people clapping me the end of the match.  I think you can feel all the respect.

Q.  Generally you're not afraid to state your opinions.  You're not afraid of what it might do to your popularity.  If you want to stop for rain, you're not afraid to say it.  Do you feel extra special that you've come through that and won it and you're a bit different?

MARION BARTOLI:  Well, I believe to be a Grand Slam champion you have to be a bit different.  You have to be strong in your mind and your opinion.

I felt it was very slippery.  I felt it was raining for five, ten minutes already.  It was starting to get very dangerous.

But at the end of the day, when I played that final, I didn't felt any kind of way the crowd was not respectful.  I think they were extremely respectful for both players.

Obviously with all the congratulate I received people were really enjoying my game and the way I played.  I think I played a great match today.  I think people will remember that, not what happened on the quarterfinal on Court 1.

Q.  You said the other day about hitting rock bottom, and that's going back to last summer when you missed the Olympics.  Do those things make this even better?

MARION BARTOLI:  It's not about missing the Olympics.  It was more about what happened off the court for me.  This year it was extremely hard to take.

And, yes, to have now this kind of moment, I mean, I really didn't expect it to happen so early, so quickly.

But, it's funny.  I was with the physio before the match, and they saw me when I was really hitting rock bottom.  They saw me before the match.  I was smiling and listening to music, singing through the locker room.

That was not supposed to be the perfect routine before going to play the Wimbledon final.  I was so happy, why not showing it?

They tell me, I remember you in Miami, how you felt after the match when you got injured with Andrea Petkovic.  It's so nice to see you like that no matter what happens in the final.

But going through those hard moments makes this one even better.

Q.  I know on ESPN this week they asked you to complete the Fibonacci sequence.

MARION BARTOLI:  Here we go.  Okay, I am ready for the challenge.

Q.  What does the Bartoli sequence look like?  How much further do you think you can go for the rest of your career?

MARION BARTOLI:  I have absolutely no idea, but one is pretty good for me.  Wimbledon champ, even if I don't get another one, I will still be very proud of it.

But of course I'm going to try my hardest to get some more.  Now that I get one, I definitely believe I can get more of them.

I just want to enjoy this one because I haven't still realized I'm really the Wimbledon champion 2013.  So it will take me some few days to realize it.  Actually when I will do, I will maybe think about the US Open and getting a shot over there.

Q.  Do you feel, having had this long journey, maybe not fitting the mold Federations look for in young players, you can be a support for young girls?

MARION BARTOLI:  I received a lot of support from my Federation.  Seeing my president in tears waiting at the end of the match means so much for me.  The vice president was here as well.  They both told me I was an inspiration for all the girls in the French Federation.

I actually received a lot of texts from them telling me how proud they were of me, how much they want to look at me now and have the same kind of attitude.

Even if I'm not maybe playing the same style of game, I think the attitude I'm carrying on the court, the mental strength and everything, it's maybe something they can look at.

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