Day 5 - Interview with Marion BartoliThursday, May 28, 2009
T. GARBIN/M. Bartoli
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Questions in French, please.
Q. You didn't really feel good physically? You were like all white in the face when you hold? What's happened?
MARION BARTOLI: Well, I was a bit tired. A bit sick, I think, as well. So it was not easy. It was so cold out there. Really cold on the court.
I was not really fit,that's true. The conditions were notreally good for me. It was really hard.
Q. What about the incredible number of break points?
MARION BARTOLI: Well, you know, the court was reallyheavy. The balls were heavy. My serve was not okay at all. I couldn't hit the balls correctly, either. So I wanted to fight back as well as I could,but that was not sufficient.
The way she played, herattitude was getting on my nerves, so I had to calm down. It was not easy. She would always return all the balls, allthe points. I was not hitting stronglyenough. The surface was really slow.
There was a lot of clay under my feet. It was a bit heavy. 15 degrees. It's not the best conditions.
Q. Yousaid difficult conditions. What do youmean by this?
MARION BARTOLI: What?
Q. You said her attitude was a bit strange. What do you mean by this?
MARION BARTOLI: Well, it's her clan. When I made unforced errors, her team wouldshout. It's not sportslike. They're Italians.
Q. You're Italian too. Yourgrandfather, as well, is Italian.
MARION BARTOLI: I'm from Corsica.
I knew her on a faster surface, like onhardcourts. At the beginning of thematch it was not the same type of match. But this time it was the slowest surface on earth, so to her advantage.
Q. What about her shouting all the time?
MARION BARTOLI: She does that all the time. I do it, as well. Last time when I played against her, youknow, I didn't care.
This time, it's mainly the conditions that werereally not good. It was so cold, freezingout there. The balls were stuck on thestrings of the racquet, so that's why there were many break points, and theball was too slow. It was not to mybenefit. It was never something I coulddo well, you know, to hit the ball and to have many moon balls.
I thought, you know, I could hit as strongas I could. I couldn't have winningpoints. It was not, therefore, easy forme to get into my game.
Q. You said you thought you were sick. What do you think you have?
MARION BARTOLI: Well, it's like a bit of a sore throat, andmy nose is running. It was cold. It was very warm on Monday when I played, andthen cold for two days in a row.
So I think it's thetemperature change, and also a bit of tiredness.
Q. You had invested a lot on this tournament. So what do you feel today, just off thecourts?
MARION BARTOLI: Well, of course now I'm disappointed. I was very much involved. I had trained a lot and practiced for a verylong week before, and fortunately this was not rewarding. Not the way I wanted, in any case, but thisis the way it is. That's sports.
You can try and do yourbest before the tournament. You can tryand practice as best as you can. Sometimesit works; sometimes it doesn't. This isthe way it is. It's life.
Q. You said you couldn't hit your balls, and you wanted to strike strongerand stronger. You made more mistakes?
MARION BARTOLI: Yes, the ball, I tried to strike reallystrongly, and then it went off the court immediately. You know, I couldn't feel anything today. I couldn't feel my racquet. When I play well, this would never happen tome.
Everything wastough. Her game was not goodenough. There was no pace in her game,so I had to hit more strongly, more strongly, and this is it. I was off‑pace. I started this match correctly, and thenthere was a long period of time when I couldn't feel anything. And then during the second set, I wanted tobe back into the game, but it was too late.
Q. What next, then, for you?
MARION BARTOLI: I think there's something called Wimbledon next, so I'll try and get ready for grass. This is it. I'll practice again. That's theonly thing I can do.
Q. Maybe you will not really like my question, but don't you think thatit's something else that has to be changed when you contemplate a newtournament? It's time for a turnaroundfor you.
MARION BARTOLI: Do you have ideas for me?
Q. Or your coach?
MARION BARTOLI: Oh, you mean changing coaches? You think my coach is really bad? That's why I'm No. 13 in the world.
Q. No, I know you're No. 13. But tohave a turnaround. Maybe it's a newapproach to tournaments?
MARION BARTOLI: Frankly, it hasn't got much to do with myresults. My training, my practicebeforehand ‑‑ you can prepare the way you want, you know. It's not a guarantee that you're going toplay well on the court. Or sometimes youcan forget to practice, and you can play well. There's no direct connection between the two. It's not that mathematical, unfortunately.
In sports there are somany parameters to take into account. Had I played on Monday, it was 30 degrees out there and maybe I couldhave won the match and then nobody would have said anything.
And today I played, it's only 15degrees. The balls are that big, and theballs are stuck on the court. So whatcan I do? On both sides, no, it'simpossible. She would slice all theballs, and she would moon all the balls. That's all.
No, if you have any smart ideas tohelp me win Roland Garros, I'm quite open for the French tournament.
Q. Idon't think you had time to see your father. Did he say something?
MARION BARTOLI: No, in these cases, you see, I don't want tosee my family, because I know that I won't be able to even utter a singleword. I'm disappointed. I'm so disappointed because I was so muchinvolved. I didn't think I would losethis match, and I can't express any positive feelings 45 minutes after thematch before I'm here for this press conference.
So I'd rather wait alittle so that I can calm down, even though I know the days to come will bedifficult. No, I didn't have time to seemy father.
Q. Today I saw that you didn't enjoy anything on court. Do you think that one day you'll enjoyplaying on clay?
MARION BARTOLI: Now that's a question.
You see, when I playwell, which was the case at Stuttgart, even though I lose, and I lost againstDementieva, of course I can enjoy playing on clay. The conditions are such thatsometimes I can develop an interesting game style. But here today, I started with a majorhandicap, if you will. I knew it todaywhen I woke up. I said, I'll have toplay at 11:00. I looked at the weatherconditions. I said, It's going to betough. I tried to do my best. I never gave up, but unfortunately, this isit. I didn't win.
Now, then, I don't think it was such a chorefor me. Enjoy it? No, I played badly. I couldn't feel the balls. I did my best, but it didn't work outcorrectly. So next time I play, eventhough the conditions are tough, I'll try and develop a smarter type of game.
I wouldn't look at things this way,like I am enjoying it or not.
Q. You'vetalked a lot about the conditions. Whatabout pressure and tension?
MARION BARTOLI: No, I think my focus was better. I was much more into this game compared withthe first round. But this opponent was aproblem for me. I didn't find the rightanswers during the match. Sometimesduring a number of games, I was leading the game, but I couldn't stick to thiscode of conduct, if you will, or style.
Q. No Roland Garros syndrome?
MARION BARTOLI: No, the first round was really the mostdifficult round. During the second round, I could have played the same match inanother town in the world and I would have lost the same way.
It's not because Iplayed here, the French Open, on the central court.
Q. You were No. 19, French 19. Nowthere's only three French players. Howwould you analyze this?
MARION BARTOLI: Well, out of 19 French players, let's countthe number of wildcards. But someplayers had very difficult first rounds, so no surprise they lost againststronger girls than them. But, you know,the French didn't have good results for different reasons. It was difficult for us to play our best typeof tennis style.
But it's alwaysdifficult for us here in France. It's always going to be like this. There's no explanation, you see. We can't find just one reason. There's Amélie on the one hand; there's me onthe other hand. My style is perhaps notthe best for clay. And also, here on thecentral court, you have more distance for those who are defenders, moredistance behind the baseline, and there you are.
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