The shouting and the cheering has died down from Wimbledon so it’s an opportunity to look back on a crazy couple of weeks and in particular the person that is Marion Bartoli, the new ladies singles champion.
The glory of holding the Venus Rosewater salver has now set in as reality and is no longer something she is grasping to realise.
“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,” said Marion Bartoli.
No one can deny that she has worked hard for the success. She reached the final back in 2007 losing to Venus Williams but at that time she wasn’t ready to win. She certainly was this year and three cheers for the 28 year old for her achievements. You have to love the fact that she has never doubted that one day such glory would be hers.
Marion’s post match media conference was one of the most wonderful media conferences that I have had the pleasure of listening to. This young lady with a huge heart and dedication to match showed us all how much passionate she has for tennis.
With that in mind, it was a cruel and awful comment made by the BBC commentator John Inverdale after the final that she was “no looker” implying there was nothing physically attractive about her, so she had to do something with her life and as a result excelled at tennis.
Marion kicked a goal when she counteracted that comment, saying: “I never dreamed of being a model, I dreamed about winning Wimbledon … and I did.”
Inverdale apologised and wrote to Bartoli but how insensitive to say something like that on what was the happiest day of her professional life.
Marion is a beautiful person. Her face radiates when she smiles and you want to hug her because her path through the tennis circuit has not been the easiest one but she has turned it around and the respect and admiration she is awarded with is well overdue.
“When it happen, when it actually happen, you felt like, you achieve something that you dream about for maybe millions of hours,” she said. “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.”
Bartoli is a very tough person physically but she is soft inside. Her physical toughness was evident by her playing the second set with a huge blister that bloodied her sock and as much as she struggled to move, she never once showed the discomfort. That is the kind of person she is; she can withstand pain and just focus.
“I think it's coming from my childhood, from where I practice when I was younger, from those very tough situations,” said Marion. “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 kinds of hard moments make 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 when I was playing on the court, and that carried me on a long way.”
She will remain humble and low key with the sensitivity she has showing up in her love of art. If she were to paint her journey at Wimbledon she said there would be a bright sun and some dark clouds in a corner and it would be like Manet’s work.
Marion’s face on that evening at Wimbledon was as round and as glowing as the sun. It was if her heart was jumping out of her chest.
“This year it was extremely hard to take, but going through those hard moments makes this one even better,” she said.
Marion is someone who should be an inspiration for others. She never stopped believing in herself and has convinced people to “dare to dream”.