Marion Bartoli Press Conference
by ATP Staff|
March 28, 2012
M. BARTOLI/V. Azarenka
6 3, 6 3
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Great match. How tough was it mentally? She has 26 wins and she came back from that great match last time.
MARION BARTOLI: Yes. Well, I knew it would be extremely tough. Obviously we had some great battles in the past with Vika, and, you know, when you have to play against someone who is winning so much, it's even harder because obviously she had so much confidence into herself.
I think the main key for me was the belief and really to step up on the court trying to win the match, not only thinking about how well she's playing and everything, but really go on the court, having a game plan and try to go for my shots.
It was a very demanding match on the fitness side. I think I had to really run a lot, especially from side to side. She's playing extremely early and really put a lot of pressure on you.
So I really had to work very hard into the points and stay tough physically. But at the end, I'm so happy I was able to do it.
Q. How do you feel now physically?
MARION BARTOLI: I feel great. You know, I really I have been working extremely hard on this side, and I think that's why also I improve so much since last year, being now a top 10 player and playing some great tennis since the beginning of the year.
I'm really happy all my hard work is paying off. It's just great for me to play this kind of level in front of this great crowd.
Q. Your body language was very positive. How is that important to you, for you, for your belief and to be focused in that match?
MARION BARTOLI: Yeah, I think it's really part of me and what I'm bringing on the court.
As I told you, you know, really how this great body language and this positive body language help me, even though when I was leading a set and a break and those three games in a row, I was still focused and didn't get down into myself. Really stayed positive and have this positive energy.
I really was able to turn the game around again and step inside the court and play some great points. You know, to do it in front of Vika and do it tonight, it was great.
Q. Beginning of the second set you had a little trouble with the one game with a few double faults. Looked like she might be able to turn the match around. Then you played a very strong game to get the break back. Can you comment on that period in the match, maybe what was going on in your mind?
MARION BARTOLI: Yes. Well, you know, in the first set I serve harder. That's usually what I'm doing. I was serving around 108, 110 miles an hour. And I start to feel a bit of pain into my shoulder, into my arm in the beginning of the second set.
She played well, as well. So I really need to stop that. I think the experience from the past, the match I play against her. Sometimes I was winning and end up losing the matches, especially this year in Sydney. I was up 5 2 in the first set and 4 1 in the second, and I lost both of them.
I think really to stay mentally tough and do not show anything to her really helped me to come back into the match and stay really positive, block out totally the negative things. Just stay positive and strong, and I was able to do it.
Q. It's very important for you to play inside the baseline. The balls come very fast. How do you keep that up?
MARION BARTOLI: Well, I have been always playing like that, but obviously against Vika you have to really stay close to your baseline.
If you let some inches to her and give her some courts to walk on, she's really stepping up inside the court and you have to run so many miles.
Sometimes I took the ball extremely early. It was almost table tennis sometimes. You know, I would just stay into my baseline and block it. It was playing so fast (smiling).
But, you know, in my childhood I used to play into a courts I didn't have any background, so I had to stay inside the baseline and play. That's my style of game, and obviously tonight I was able to do it.
Q. Azarenka had a tough match against Dominika Cibulkova. Did you happen to see that match?
MARION BARTOLI: I did, yes. I did saw the match. Dominika is my best friend on the tour, so that was a bit hard it was heartbreaking to see her losing that match leading 6 1, 5 1. She played some amazing tennis. I think it was an amazing match even though she lost it.
Q. She seemed to suffer from nerves a little bit, and you didn't seem to at all. Do you get nervous out there?
MARION BARTOLI: Um, well, you know, I think I had the experience from playing some really tough matches and being a Wimbledon finalist. When I had to play against Justine in the Centre Court of Wimbledon and pull out this match, you have to stay strong mentally. Obviously all this kind of experience helped me.
But I have my shock times against Vika in the past. I remember a match in Stanford I was leading 6 3, 3 1, and I ended up losing that match. So I learn from the past. I learn from my mistakes. Obviously it works out tonight.
Q. How about your fitness? You do look fitter and you move extremely well. Are you doing anything different?
MARION BARTOLI: I'm working hard. That's what I can tell you. (Smiling.)
I can tell you that I'm working extremely hard, and I'm just happy that everything is paying off right now and I'm able to play some great tennis.
Q. You've always been a very consistent player. It seems like part of the thing that you have been tinkering with of late was your serve. Seems like you've settled on the serve. Is that helping you more and feel more comfortable on court?
MARION BARTOLI: Yes. Well, I've been going with the same motion of my serve since a while now. I have been actually switching racquets just before this tournament, playing with the same brand but just a different racquet.
I really feel like this racquet is helping me with the power into my game. I think, you know, switching was a great thing for me. I feel like my ball is going faster, and I don't have to put so much energy into my shots to get more power.
So I think also to switch racquet was a real bonus for me, and it helped me throughout this tournament.
Q. Did you get any advices from Dominika to beat Vika?
MARION BARTOLI: No, I didn't text her to get any advice, but I played Vika so much in the past that I can tell you I knew what was the game plan.
Q. Looking forward to the semifinals, you're going to play Radwanska. You guys met six times. You still haven't beaten her.
MARION BARTOLI: I know the stats (smiling). But I think a first is always to happen, so maybe it's going to be my first tomorrow. But I know it's not gonna be easy. That's for sure.
She has been extremely consistent since a while now, since I think the beginning of the Asian tournament last year when she start to win absolutely everything.
I know I will have to run a lot, a lot more forward, because I know she's going to make a lot of dropshots. I'm gonna be ready.
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