I have met French tennis star Marion Bartoli twice. The first time was many years ago at the Australian Open when her star was rising, walking to her match on an outer court without a lot of security and attention. I politely asked her for an autograph and she very politely said she would be happy to… but after the match. Fair enough. The second time was last week at Wimbledon where she is now part of the commentary team.
She was on her way to Centre Court to cover the women’s semi finals. It’s an arena she is familiar with. After being runner-up in 2007 Marion went on beat Sabine Lisicki in the 2011 final to win the Ladies Singles title and become only the sixth player to win the Championships without dropping a single set. A month later she retired citing the pain from all the injuries she had sustained throughout her career. Marion was known for her unorthodox and intense playing style, dominated by a two-handed forehand and backhand developed by her father and longtime coach Walter.
Marion was to have played in the Women’s Invitational Doubles at this year’s Championships, but had to withdraw on medical advice. It was revealed that she had contacted a serious virus that resulted in a dramatic weight loss. Immediately after the Tournament she underwent a blood transfusion and tweeted that she was ‘now on the up’. Great news for her large fan base. Anyway on our second meeting she was happy to sign this sketch I drew of her.