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HindustanTimes Wed,23 Apr 2014

Tennis

Power-napping her way to Wimbledon success
Reuters
London, July 04, 2013
First Published: 19:17 IST(4/7/2013)
Last Updated: 01:53 IST(5/7/2013)

Some players whirl away on exercise bikes before a match, others practise until they are called by the referee and some listen to music. Marion Bartoli likes to fall asleep.

Her unusually laid-back approach did her no harm on Thursday, however, as the 28-year-old Frenchwoman rose from the locker-room sofa half an hour before walking on court to thrash Belgian Kirsten Flipkens and reach her second Wimbledon semi-final.

Nap time
"I felt I was just maybe a bit tired and I needed a quick nap just to recover from my early morning practice and everything I had to do to be ready to go on court," she told reporters after a 6-1 6-2 Centre Court victory. "It was just a quick nap of 15, 20 minutes, and go on court. So far it's working extremely well, so I don't see why I should change that.

"If I do feel like I need (a nap), it's not a problem for me to sleep and come back and be ready."

It is quite a juxtaposition because on court she is a livewire, rarely standing still between points as she goes through a series of manic routines which include practise swings, running on the spot and pumping her fists.

There are shades of Rafael Nada about her on-court demeanour as she sometimes sprints back to the chair after game points.

"Actually I've been doing that forever," she said. "I have some tapes of myself when I was seven years old or six years old, and I was still doing the same. It's just part of me."

Bartoli, who recently began working with former Wimbledon champion Amelia Mauves after most of her career being coached by father Walter, may never have a better chance to win a grand slam title with Germany's Sabine Lisicki awaiting on Saturday.

"I think I'm serving better. I think I'm doing everything just better. I think I'm able to hit the ball harder. I'm moving faster," Bartoli said of the improvements she has made to her game since losing to Venus Williams six years ago.


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