Six years after reaching her first final, Marion Bartoli became a Grand Slam champion on Saturday beating Sabine Lisicki 6-1, 6-4 to capture the 2013 Wimbledon ladies’ championship.
“Honestly I still can’t believe it,” the eccentric Bartoli said. “I’ve dreamed about this moment for so long. For me, winning Wimbledon is beyond my wildest dreams, let alone with an ace – but I’ve been practicing my serve for so long, I guess I saved it for the best moment! I’m so happy to be holding this trophy.
“This has been my dream since I was six years old.”
The 15th seeded Bartoli double faulted the opening game away but then reeled off the next six games to take to the first set over a visibly nervous and sometimes teary-eyed Lisicki.
After Lisicki left the court at the end of a 30-minute first set, the German played better in the second but still couldn’t gain a foothold against red-hot Bartoli.
The tide turned a little late in the match. Fown 1-5, 15-40 and two matchpoints, Lisicki held and then broke, then held again but it wasn’t enough against Bartoli who cliched the biggest title of her career with an ace.
“I felt I played probably my best match of the Championships,” Bartoli said. “I was doing everything well, moving well returning well. I really played a wonderful match. It’s really amazing to win Wimbledon and to do it playing well, it’s just unbelievable. And to finish on an ace. I could have seen it in slow motion. I could see the ball landing, the chalk coming up. You cannot put any words to what I felt in this moment.”
The 28-year-old Bartoli becomes the third Frenchwoman to win Wimbledon after Suzanne Lenglen and her part-time coach Amelie Mauresmo who did it in 2006.
She also becomes just the sixth woman in the Open Era to win Wimbledon without dropping a set.
Lisicki, who had played so well in upset wins over 2012 finalists Serena Williams and Agnieszka Radwanska, admitted the stage of playing in her first Grand Slam final overwhelmed her.
“It’s an occasion that you don’t get every day,” said Lisicki. “So it’s something completely new for me. But I will learn and take away so much from it. I’ve done that in the past. Experience has always helped me so much. When I was in the quarters here the first time, when I was in the semis for the first time, and now in the final for the first time. I’ve always gained my experience here, which is good.
“I hope that next time it will help me to do that one step further.”
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