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March 18, 2011

Marion Bartoli


M. BARTOLI/Y. Wickmayer
6-1, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. That was a good win. How is your stomach issue today? You weren't feeling too good in the previous round.
MARION BARTOLI: Yeah, absolutely. You know, I think the worst one was against Ana, definitely, because I really didn't have any food in my body before the match, and it was really hard to hang on against her, not only the pace of the match and the long rallies, but also, you know, feeling physically very weak.
Today was better, but still definitely not 100%. So I was kind of having these -- not a collapse, but my level drop after the first set because, you know, still not able to fully eat normally before the match, so I didn't have many fuel into my body to hang on.
But I stayed mentally very focused and I stayed positive toward the end. I knew if I was not playing not 100%, but a good level, I will still be able to come out on top.

Q. I suppose you'll be watching the game tonight. Which one of the two opponents would you rather see in the final, and why?
MARION BARTOLI: Well, any way it will be a very hard challenge either way, if it's Maria or Caroline. I lost against Caroline I think few weeks ago in Doha very easily. She played some really great tennis since the beginning of the year. She's No. 1 in the world. She's very confident.
Maria is one of the toughest competitors of woman's game. So either way it will be a very hard challenge; either way, I will be the underdog going into the final, and I will have absolutely nothing to lose.
So it's gonna be first of all a huge challenge, but also a great experience for me to be out there and show how good I can play. So really, the thing I'm gonna focus on is really going on court and try to play the best tennis as I can.

Q. You've been on tour for a few years. You've been a Wimbledon finalist. Does a result like this excite you? Does it thrill you? What kind of emotions do you feel?
MARION BARTOLI: Well, yeah, of course. Both of it. I'm very excited to be in the final, but also, I knew I could be there. It was just a matter of time between the Wimbledon final and getting to the final over here.
Obviously I had everything in my game to be there, but it was just a matter of putting everything together at the good time and being tough on the court. And, of course, knowing I could be there like I did in the final of Wimbledon helped me mentally to really stay positive, even when I had some bad results, to really stay focus and know I can be there one day or the other.
So it's great for me to showing up during this week in Indian Wells, and hopefully I will be able to keep this level towards the end of the season.

Q. What happened against Caroline a couple weeks ago? That isn't a normal type of defeat for you. You only won a couple of games. You couldn't find a way to put the ball past her.
MARION BARTOLI: Well, yeah, the thing against Caroline, she's so consistent. It's hard to really pass her, as you say. We had some really long games, deuce, advantage, deuce, advantage, but she was always winning them.
So this scoreline was very tough. She beat me 6-1, 6-1. But the games, some of them were really close, and if I was able to win them, maybe the score would be different.
But she's not No. 1 in the world for nothing, so she's really not giving you much. You have really to earn every single points. The key was my serve. I really serve almost poorly, you know, not very good at all.
My first percentage of first serve was very low, and every single second serve I was serving she was really putting me on the run every single time. So I think the key will be, if I play against her on Sunday, to really have a high percent of first serves.
When I beat her in Cincinnati I was able to really serve really well. That will be definitely the key when -- if I'm playing against Maria.

Q. What was the most satisfying area of your game today, even though you weren't feeling at your best?
MARION BARTOLI: Um, well, the first set I start to serve extremely well. I was really acing her a lot. Yanina is really returning well, so to be able to ace her so many times means really I was serving well.
And then, of course, the second set my first serve dropped, but I was able to stay very consistent in the rallies, you know, and not giving her too many free points. I was able to come up with some great passing shots and some great lobs.
I think the most satisfying part was I was able to, even when my first serve dropped, stay really focused and not showing too many bad emotions onto the court and really stay positive towards the end.

Q. If you happen to be playing Sharapova, what are your thoughts on that one?
MARION BARTOLI: Ah, well, I never beat Maria in the past. Maybe when she was 12 years old and we played under-16 in the Orange Bowl. (Laughter.) I think that was the only time I won, so I don't even think that is counting anymore.
But, you know, either way I would have nothing to lose, even if it's Caroline or Maria. So I will really go onto the courts knowing I have nothing to lose and really try to play my best tennis.
When I play against Maria in our past contests I never was able to play my best tennis. That's really the maybe thing I'm going to focus on, is to play my best and see if I am very far from winning or not.

Q. You told the French press or in French yesterday that you have a 175 IQ.

Q. That's very high.
MARION BARTOLI: I know. Yeah, I hope to be that good in tennis one day.

Q. How do you know that?
MARION BARTOLI: Well, I did a test when I was younger, but I'm not really someone that is really telling everyone, Oh, I'm so smart and whatever. (Smiling.)
I'm kind of hiding it or try to be not very -- with a huge head like. But that's how I am, you know. It just comes naturally. That's how I was born with.

Q. So for someone with 175 IQ, choosing tennis over math or painting.
MARION BARTOLI: I know. You're going to tell me that was not a smart decision (Laughter.)

Q. With the amount of money you've made, I would not say that. But it's different, though.
MARION BARTOLI: I know. But, you know what makes me -- when I was really younger and watching the TV and saw Pete Sampras and lifting his trophy year after year at Wimbledon. Even if I was good at school, that was really what was exciting me, this kind of challenge, being on center court of Wimbledon lifting this Wimbledon trophy.
That was really the excitement. It was not coming up with 20 out of 20 on math. I mean, even if it was great, that was not what was exciting me. Even when I was 6 or 7 years old, what was exciting me when I was waking up every morning, it was what I was doing after school: playing tennis against a wall or whatever.
My dad was very busy, you know, with my brother or with his job, and he couldn't practicing with me. I was just hitting over the wall for hours and hours and hours.
The first thing I was thinking in the morning was tennis, and that was my passion. That still remains my passion.
So even if I was not that good at it, I would still persevere to be where I am.

Q. You're very mathematical, correct?

Q. So do you bring that in tennis? Do you see tennis mathematically on the court?
MARION BARTOLI: I do. I truly believe that it helps me. You know, I'm always thinking on the court, always, always, always. I'm thinking, Well, when I was serving the last point, either if she, my opponent, make a winner or make a mistake or where is my percentage level first serve, whatever. I'm always thinking on the court, and I think that helps me.

Q. But thinking a lot also can be detrimental on the court.
MARION BARTOLI: I know. But when I'm starting not to think, it's not very good for me. When I'm thinking and I'm looking at the court and knowing where I'm gonna put the ball, that's where I usually I play my best.

Q. But you also have your artistic side, right? You're a painter?

Q. You do everything. You have the math side. You're into both sides of the brain.
MARION BARTOLI: Yes, I like to -- that's true. I like to be an artist. I like to think also very mathematically, very straight. That's both side of...

Q. Are you more of a mathematician or more of an artist on the court?
MARION BARTOLI: No, mathematician. When I'm on the court, it's just very thinking, you know. Really sometimes my dad say, Marion, you're just too much a mathematician. Give it a go, you know. Try it sometimes just to, you know, make it more -- not about mathematics.
But I say, No, dad, it very mathematic. It has to be this way.

Q. This is your father who is a chess player speaking?
MARION BARTOLI: Yes. My father, the only sport he plays is chess. He doesn't like to run too much, that's for sure.

Q. As an artist, what trend do you prefer? More on the abstract or...
MARION BARTOLI: No, I don't like the abstract.

Q. Impressionists?
MARION BARTOLI: No, I don't like the abstract at all. More the impressionists. My favorite painter is Van Gogh. I truly love Van Gogh. I was very lucky to go to one of his exhibitions in Basel, in Switzerland.

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