This was a huge weekend for French sports. Le Tour de France is in full swing, and under-dog Marion Bartoli won the women’s singles title at Wimbledon. Born in the village of Haute-Loire, her idol as a teen was Pete Sampras. She even had his T-shirt on her wall – unwashed – yuck!
Until recently, her father was her trainer. He put his career as a physician on hold to apply methods that were highly unusual in the tennis world. These days, Bartoli’s trainer is Amélie Mauresmo, the last French woman to win Wimbledon seven years ago. The split seems to be amicable, as her dad was courtside for her big win and the second person she embraced, after Mauresmo. She is not considered the fastest female tennis player or the most talented, but she has an incredible will to win. Twenty-eight year-old Bartoli lost in the final to Venus Williams in 2007, but this year things went her way.
It was a day of glory for Bartoli who won every set throughout the tournament and clinched the title in two sets. She’s only the third French woman to win at Wimbledon. (Suzanne Lenglen did win every year between 1919 and 1923, however, which is hardly too shabby.) Her dad’s training methods may have been unconventional, but her preparation this weekend included listening to music by her favorite DJ and producer, Frenchman Bob Sinclar, en boucle (ohn bookluh), or on “continuous loop.” (Here’s one of his big hits “Love Generation”” or maybe she was grooving to “Everybody Dance Now.”) The tennis player who started the tournament ranked 14th and won it all was certainly dancing for joy this weekend.