Unusual methods pay off for Bartoli after 47 Grand Slams | sports | Hindustan Times
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Unusual methods pay off for Bartoli after 47 Grand Slams

sports Updated: Jul 08, 2013 01:08 IST

When she was in middle school, Marion Bartoli would do homework in the car while her father, who was also her coach, drove for hours from their home in central France to various junior tennis tournaments.

During the week, when Dad would finish his day job as a doctor, they would head out for a couple of hours of practice, sometimes starting at 9 or 10 pm.

"Then coming back home and waking myself up in the morning to go to school - and do it over and over again," Bartoli said. "So that made me the person I am right now on the court. It's coming all from there."

Today, at 28, Bartoli is a Wimbledon champion.

And when the 15th-seeded Bartoli's 6-1, 6-4 victory over No. 23 Sabine Lisicki in Saturday's final at the All England Club ended with an ace, she climbed up into the stands and gave her father a hug.

When she was 7½, she watched on television as Monica Seles beat Steffi Graf to win the 1992 French Open. Fascinated by Seles' two-handed grips for forehands and backhands, Bartoli decided she would play the same way.

There were times that other coaches urged her to change to a more traditional forehand. Didn't happen. Took a while, but Bartoli - and her father - finally can say they knew what they were doing the whole time.