Translated from l’Équipe print edition April 3, 2015 page 11. Article by Vincent Cognet.
Marion Bartoli is “getting such a kick” from her “second life” that she’s never thought of returning to competition.
Marion Bartoli divides her life today between Dubai and London and admits she “spends a lot of time on planes.” This week the 2013 Wimbledon champion, only thirty, is in Miami commentating for TennisTV. Just before the Suarez Navarro – Petkovic semi-final, and sitting at a table in front of a large salad, she agreed to take stock of her new life and women’s tennis.
A month ago on Twitter you asked your fans if they’d like you to come back to the tour. Was the idea in the back of your head?
[laughs] They say often that fans don’t get a chance to express their opinions. As I kept hearing some my fans constantly asking me the same question, I told myself I’d tweet asking their opinion. The answer was clear: I should stay with my win at Wimbledon.
But you would have seriously considered it if the answer had been the opposite?
I don’t think it would have changed my decision. I had a very clear head about it. And I’m so involved in my “second life”, being creative, painting, fashion etc. The fact is that I’m getting such a kick from this life that I don’t think about tennis.
You’ve got remarkably trim in the last few months. Are you sure you don’t miss the competition?
It’s for my swimsuit in Miami [laughs]. Seriously, I’m very happy with my private life and my restructuring. I needed to get back into shape for Strive, a charity. I ran three marathons and did 1,400 km cycling. And I’m still playing exhibitions. I love playing tennis so much. It’s a pleasure now to go onto a court. But I never tell myself: “It really was good when I played.”
What you’ll never get again is the adrenaline …
Exactly. It’s impossible to get back the adrenaline rush that I felt when I served for the Wimbledon title [she served an ace against Sabine Lisicki to win 6-1, 6-4 on July 6, 2013]. I knew what I was leaving when I quit. I put a cover over it. It would be a mission impossible. If I didn’t, I would be eternally frustrated and it would tear me apart. On the other hand, when I need a lift, I put the Wimbledon final back on, and it’s there again.
You watch it often?
I refuse to count! My friend knows it: when I’m feeling a bit blue, he takes the DVD and slides it into my computer. And I watch the match again … and I’m pumped up again.
What do you think of today’s women’s tennis?
I’m wondering about Eugénie Bouchard who’s sliding badly down the rankings and who undoubtedly made a mistake changing coaches in the middle of the season (her split with Nick Saviano was announced on 25 November 2014, not the ‘middle of the season’ [MAN]). In general I see a new generation arriving, Pliskova, Keys, Muguruza, Garcia, Dodin who are a new prototype of player: they all have a big serve and try to end points after two or three shots. That’s the evolution of tennis. And it’s not by chance that Serena and Sharapova are the only ones staying at the top. They’re the only ones playing like that. With the exception of Halep who has exceptional defence, I think intermediate games will disappear.
You’ve followed the formidable Fed Cup run of the French team?
I watched the matches on the telly. Seeing them get back into the World Group shows a real cohesion on the team. It’s Amélie [Mauresmo] who made the link. She has the ability to bring together, to instil confidence … suddenly the players are moving mountains on the court.
You don’t regret not having experienced a collective adventure like that?
– First of all, it wasn’t the same captain during my time. And my rule is never to live with regrets.
Translated by MAN