Tomic pain is Bartoli’s gain

By on July 3, 2013

Marion Bartoli

Support … Marion Bartoli is thankful to have Thomas Druet’s help. Source: John Walton / AAP

What began as a late-night scuffle between Bernard Tomic’s father and his son’s hitting partner outside a Madrid hotel, could end with Marion Bartoli winning the Wimbledon title.

When John Tomic was accused of attacking Thomas Drouet in the Spanish capital in May, the Frenchman left the Australian’s camp and began working with Bartoli alongside her father and and full-time coach Walter.

But Bartoli has opted to compete at Wimbledon, where she was runner-up to Venus Williams in 2007, without her father at her side, preferring instead the input of 2006 Wimbledon champion and compatriot Amelie Mauresmo and Drouet.

“I have known her since we were young but she always surprises me with her mental qualities every day, her seriousness, her professionalism,” said Drouet.

“In every match, she puts into practice everything we have done in training. For me she is a great champion.”

Bartoli, the 28-year-old 15th seed, reached her third career grand slam semi-final with a 6-4 7-5 win over American Sloane Stephens on Tuesday.

In Thursday’s semi-final, she will face Belgian Kirsten Flipkens, who will be playing in her maiden last-four at a major.

Mauresmo, the former world No.1 and the last Frenchwoman to win a grand slam title when she triumphed at the All England Club seven years ago, said Bartoli has all the weapons to make Saturday’s final.

“We knew since Monday (after Serena Williams had followed Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka out of the tournament) that the draw was open,” said Mauresmo.

“There is clearly an opening to get to the final. It’s a crazy tournament.

“Marion is showing a lot of strength. She is the only one of the semi-finalists not to have dropped a set, she is feeling fresh and she is playing better and better, it’s not looking too bad.”

Bartoli’s win over Stephens, however, was not without controversy.

She fell foul of the fans on Court One when she demanded that play be stopped when she was leading 5-4 40-40 with Stephens serving as light rain began to fall.

When they resumed after two and a half hours, Stephens quickly dropped the first set and slipped 2-0 down in the second, losing the first nine points as the crowd, convinced that the Frenchwoman’s complaints over the state of the court had been unjustified, jeered following their lengthy wait. | Tennis

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