Bartoli reaches last 16 after kicking dad off court
Date published :
25 Jun 2011 - 18:00:04
French ninth seed Marion Bartoli reached the Wimbledon last 16 on Saturday but only after an extraordinary on-court bust-up with her father who she banished from the stands.
Bartoli, the 2007 runner-up, ordered her father and coach Walter, as well as her mother, from Court 12 after she lost the first set of her third round clash against Italy's Flavia Pennetta.
The decision appeared to have the desired effect as 26-year-old Bartoli went on to win 5-7, 6-4, 9-7 in just over three hours out on Court 14.
"I was so tired and exhausted that really I had to express my emotions somehow," said the 26-year-old Frenchwoman as she explained her decision to ask her parents to leave.
"I saw them after the match and they understood completely. It was not against them. It was just that we played a very long first set, and I was exhausted and I was tired and I was feeling worse and worse.
"I needed to get that frustration out, so I showed it that way. I could have broken a racquet. I normally I never act like that. I felt at this point I had to get all this frustration out and start again."
Bartoli, a bundle of nervous energy at the best of times when she plays, insisted that there were no hard feelings and that her parents even said it was her best performance of her eight Wimbledon appearances.
"He told me he watched from the TV, and he said it was the best match he ever saw me play here in Wimbledon. He was very proud of me, and my mom the same," she said.
Bartoli needed four match points to beat Pennetta and secure her fourth round place where she will face defending champion Serena Williams.
Bartoli, who had saved three match points to defeat Lourdes Dominguez Lino in the second round on Thursday, had been 3-5 down in the final set against Pennetta before she turned the tie around.
The Frenchwoman has been coached by her father since she was a child and her refusal to change that set-up, and not work within the French tennis federation, has kept her out of her country's Fed Cup team and a spot on the Olympics team.