2014/07/30

Marion Bartoli – “No Regrets”

 

(June 22, 2014) WIMBLEDON – Last year’s Wimbledon Ladies’ champion Marion Bartoli says she has no regrets about retiring shortly after winning the tournament.  At 28-years-old, she retired six weeks after Wimbledon after losing in Cincinnati.

“Literally I can’t even lift my arm every morning,” the Frenchwoman said.  “It was the same last year, and didn’t improve from a year after, even without playing much tennis.

“So definitely no regrets at all.  I totally moved on into something different.  I just launched my shoe line three weeks ago during the French Open.  Designing jewelry, too.

“So many things going on in my life right now, but just extremely honored to be still the 2013 Wimbledon champion and reigning champion just for the last two weeks.”

Bartoli participated in the defending champion’s news conference on Sunday despite being retired. This was the first time since 1997 that the Wimbledon’s defending champion, declined to defend her title.

So what does Bartoli miss about not playing on the tennis tour?

“What I miss the most is probably the last five seconds of my (Wimbledon) final, which is when I’m about to serve and I serve and I ace,” said the Frenchwoman.  “Kind of showing it’s an ace and knowing it’s an ace and knowing I won Wimbledon, that’s probably what I’m missing.”

“Other than this, I don’t miss every morning having to wake up and not being able to lift my arm; having my whole body terribly sore; having to travel; pack and unpack; all the practice time you have to book; make sure you’re just having your schedule ready.  Everything has to be ready every single day.

“I really enjoy every single second of my tennis career.  It was not heavy for me.  I was so driven.  I was ready to do everything I need to do in order to fulfill my dream.  I was extremely fortunate to do so last year, especially in this magical place as it is in Wimbledon.

“So, you know, I knew when I finished, I was kind of escaping or putting on the side.  I didn’t know what was in front of me.  Now I know what is in front of me, which is great.”

 

Karen Pestaina at The Championships, Wimbledon

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WTA Mobilizes Tennis Community to Support “Rally For Bally”

baltachaJJA_1209-BaltachaFS

WTA – ST PETERSBURG, FL, USA — The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) is encouraging tennis fans worldwide to pledge their support for the fundraising efforts for “Rally For Bally,” a series of exhibition tennis matches staged on Sunday, June 15, in memory of former British No.1 tennis player Elena Baltacha, who was affectionately known as “Bally” by her friends and those within the tennis community.

 

The “Rally For Bally” will feature a variety of current tennis stars and legends including Andy Murray, Martina Navratilova, Marion Bartoli, Agnieszka Radwanska and Petra Kvitova taking part in mixed doubles exhibition matches across Great Britain at the Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club, the Aegon Classic in Birmingham and the Aegon International in Eastbourne. All funds raised will go to the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and the Elena Baltacha Foundation, the charity attached to the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis.

 

“‘Rally For Bally’ is a great way to celebrate the never ending contributions Elena Baltacha has made to the game of tennis,” said WTA Chairman and CEO Stacey Allaster. “The WTA family is committed to keeping Bally’s dream, memory and legacy alive and through our efforts we hope to mobilize our fan base to give generously to this vitally important cause.”

 

In addition to “Rally For Bally”, the WTA fundraising initiative will see players, tournaments and staff worldwide donating directly to the Elena Baltacha Foundation, the charity founded four years ago to give more children from all backgrounds the opportunity to play tennis.  WTA players will have the opportunity to donate a percentage of their prize money at upcoming grass court events at Birmingham, Eastbourne, ‘s-Hertogenbosch and The Championships, Wimbledon.

 

Baltacha was diagnosed with liver cancer just two months after retiring from professional tennis and just a few weeks after marrying longtime coach and partner Nino Severino. The former British No.1 succumbed to the disease on May 4, 2014, at 30 years of age.

 

Fans worldwide can donate to “Rally For Bally” by visiting http://www.justgiving.com/rallyforbally.

 

Related articles:

Former British No. 1 Elena Baltacha Dies from Liver Cancer

Tennis Reacts to the Passing of Elena Baltacha

Wimbledon Champions Marion Bartoli and Andy Murray Unite at Rally for Bally

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Wimbledon Champions Marion Bartoli and Andy Murray Unite at Rally for Bally

Andy Murray Courtesy of adidas

(June 6, 2014) LTA – Marion Bartoli will share a court with fellow Wimbledon singles champion Andy Murray as part of the Rally For Bally on June 15th.

 

Bartoli and Murray, both of whom lifted Wimbledon trophies at The Championships in 2013, will join with Ross Hutchins at The Queen’s Club, which hosts one of three Rally For Bally fundraising matches all being held that day.

 

The Rally For Bally is part of a national fundraising effort being held in memory of former British number one Elena Baltacha, who died of liver cancer on 4th May this year. As well as a host of fundraising events all over the country, mixed doubles exhibition matches are being held on June 15th as part of the Aegon Championships at The Queen’s Club, Aegon Classic in Birmingham and the Aegon International in Eastbourne.

 

Bartoli, Murray and Hutchins – plus one or more other female players yet to be announced – will entertain the crowds at The Queen’s Club. Anne Keothavong, Tim Henman, Martina Navratilova and Jamie Murray will be in action in Birmingham, and Eastbourne will see Petra Kvitova, Greg Rusedski, Agnieszka Radwanska and Johnny Marray and others all take to the courts as tennis unites behind the Rally For Bally cause.

 

The Rally For Bally, via the Just Giving page, has already raised almost £45,000 in text and online donations. All money raised will be split between the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity (which successfully treated Ross Hutchins last year) and the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis, the charity attached to Elena’s tennis academy in Ipswich.

 

Marion Bartoli said: “Bally was my friend and I want to do everything I can to help the Rally For Bally. She was a lovely person and she always wanted to help other people, so everybody coming together like this is a really great tribute to her.”

 

“I’m looking forward to being back on a grass-court again, especially with Andy. I’m sure it will bring back lots of good memories of Wimbledon for both of us.”

 

A Rally For Bally JustGiving page has been set up, and donations can be made quickly and easily here: www.justgiving.com/RallyForBally. Or, text “EBAL60 £10″ to 70070, to make, for example, a £10 donation via your mobile phone.

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Tennis News & Net Notes

Most clicked-on players: The WTA Tour rounds up the Top 20 most clicked-on players of 2013… #20 to #11 can be seen here.

Marion Bartoli Day 2 Press Conference

Marion Bartoli: #15 of the top 20 most clicked on WTA players in 2013

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Junior Orange Bowl, Day 3: Results and match reports from ITF Tennis.

Waiting for the Murray effect: LTA tennis funding at risk in Britain after decline in players via The Telegraph

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Roddick leads Team Elton to victory at Mylan WTT Smash Hits

(L-R)Andy Roddick, Elton John, Mickey Mouse , Billie Jean King and Venus Williams Photo by Camerawork USA

(L-R)Andy Roddick, Elton John, Mickey Mouse , Billie Jean King and Venus Williams Photo by Camerawork USA

(Nov. 17, 2013) ORLANDO, Fla.  – Mylan WTT Smash Hits returned to the Orlando area for the first time since 1997 on Sunday evening, raising more than $700,000 for the Elton John AIDS Foundation and local charities.

 

Team Elton defeated Team Billie Jean 24-18 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort to take an 11-10 lead in the overall series.  Andy Roddick, who was making his 11th event appearance, won three sets including men’s singles over John Isner to help Team Elton seal the victory.

 

“He’s phenomenal,” John said of Roddick. “We miss him on the tour because he’s such a personality. He’s doing so well. He came out and did it tonight.”

 

A portion of tonight’s proceeds will go towards the Hope and Help Center of Central Florida.  The annual event, co-hosted by Sir Elton John and Billie Jean King, has now raised more the $12 million to support HIV and AIDS prevention and awareness programs since the first event in 1993. Robert and Tricia Earl served as local hosts of tonight’s Mylan WTT Smash Hits.

 

The evening began with a celebrity Battle of the Sexes set, pitting Elton John and Roddick against Venus Williams and Marion Bartoli. John and Roddick won the entertaining set 4-3.

 

The celebrity set didn’t count towards the overall match score, but it got Team Elton off on the winning track.  Roddick partnered teammate Robert Kendrick to a 5-4 win against Team Billie Jean’s Isner and Jean-Julien Rojer to kick off the match.

 

Team Elton moved ahead 10-6 when Williams and Vicky Duval joined forces in women’s doubles for a 5-2 victory over Bartoli and Taylor Townsend. In women’s singles, Townsend won the showdown of top young Americans as she held off Duval for a 5-4 win, clinching the set on a deciding point with a net cord.

 

Team Elton built on their lead in the 4th set with a 5-3 win in mixed doubles as Roddick teamed with Duval to get past Townsend and Isner. Roddick then closed out the night by topping Isner 5-4 in men’s singles.

 

Before King and John’s teams battled it out on court, they went head-to-head in a live auction contest, raising $212,000. John’s squad took home honors by bringing in $126,000 of contributions.  Roddick stole the show when he took the microphone to auction off a private lesson, selling two sessions for $36,000 apiece. Billie Jean King’s Wimbledon package, featuring her own Centre Court seats to the 2014 ladies’ and gentlemen’s championship matches, sold for $25,000. Bartoli, the reigning Wimbledon ladies’ champion, subsequently offered up her personal tickets and the $25,000 was matched. Other auction items included an Elton John-signed piano bench, a hitting session with Bartoli, a Daytona 500 experience, tournament packages for the US Open and Indian Wells, and a Forevermark pendant and earrings.

 

Official sponsors include Mylan, GEICO, 1059 SUNNY FM, Adecco, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, Alston & Bird LLP, ANZ, Bright House Media Strategies, Central Florida Press, Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP, Credit Suisse, DecoTurf, Fields Auto Group, Forevermark Diamond, Goldman Sachs, Kelley De & Warren LLP, Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP, Macy’s, McGuireWoods LLP, Orlando Magazine, Planet Hollywood Foundation, Presidio, Rakoczy Molino Mazzochi Siwik LLP, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, Smart City, Wells Fargo Foundation, Wiley Rein LLP, Wilson, Wipro and Zebra Coalition.

 

Final Results: 

Mylan WTT Smash Hits presented by GEICO at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex At Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla.

 

PRO-CELEB MATCH (didn’t count towards final match score):  Elton John / Andy Roddick def. Venus Williams / Marion Bartoli, 4-3

 

Team Elton def. Team Billie Jean 24-18

 

Men’s Doubles: Andy Roddick / Robert Kendrick (Team Elton) def. John Isner / Jean-Julien Rojer (Team Billie Jean) 5-4

 

Women’s Doubles: Venus Williams / Vicky Duval (Team Elton) def. Marion Bartoli / Taylor Townsend (Team Billie Jean) 5-2

 

Women’s Singles: Taylor Townsend (Team Billie Jean) def. Vicky Duval (Team Elton) 5-4

 

Mixed Doubles: Andy Roddick / Vicky Duval (Team Elton) def. John Isner / Taylor Townsend (Team Billie Jean) 5-3

 

Men’s Singles: Andy Roddick (Team Elton) def. John Isner (Team Billie Jean) 5-4

 

 

TEAM ELTON:

Elton John, Andy Roddick, Venus Williams, Vicky Duval, Robert Kendrick

 

TEAM BILLIE JEAN:

Billie Jean King, John Isner, Marion Bartoli, Taylor Townsend, Jean-Julien Rojer

 

For more information on Mylan WTT Smash Hits presented by GEICO, visit www.WTTSmashHits.com.

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Elton John and Andy Roddick to take on Venus Williams and Marion Bartoli in Battle of Sexes set for charity

wtt smash hits geico

(October 29, 2013) New York, N.Y.  – Billie Jean King made history 40 years ago when she beat Bobby Riggs in the famous Battle of the Sexes match.

 

There may not be as much at stake this time around but next month King’s longtime friend and Mylan WTT Smash Hits co-host Sir Elton John and former world No. 1 Andy Roddick are hoping to even the gender score when they take on two of tennis’ top female stars in a celebration of the original showdown and to raise funds for AIDS charities.

 

John and Roddick will face off against Venus Williams and 2013 Wimbledon Champion Marion Bartoli in a Battle of the Sexes celebrity doubles match to open up action at the 2013 Mylan WTT Smash Hits presented by GEICO on Sunday, Nov. 17 at the HP Field House at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.

 

While most of the world knows John as a music superstar, he is also an avid tennis fan who plays frequently and wrote the song “Philadelphia Freedom” for King in the 1970s.  Over the past two decades, John and King have teamed up for Mylan WTT Smash Hits which has raised more than $11.5 million for the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) and various local AIDS charities since 1993.  This year’s 21st annual event will benefit EJAF and the Hope and Help Center of Central Florida.  A portion of the funds raised at the pre-match VIP Reception and Auction will be specifically targeted for local programs.

 

John and King also announced the final two players for the Mylan WTT Smash Hits field – longtime New York Sportimes veteran Robert Kendrick and doubles world No. 15 Jean-Julien Rojer of the Springfield Lasers.  Rojer was also the 2013 Mylan WTT Male MVP.

 

With the player field full, the two hosts also selected their squads.  Team Elton will feature Roddick, Williams, Kendrick and rising young American Vicky Duval.  Team Billie Jean includes Bartoli, John Isner, former junior world No. 1 Taylor Townsend and Rojer.

 

The two teams will play a Mylan WTT match which includes one set each of men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles.   Isner and Roddick are expected to face off in a pivotal men’s singles showdown.

 

Tennis action is set for 6 p.m. ET with the pre-match VIP Reception and Auction kicking off at 4:30 p.m.  King and John have split the two-decade series with 10 wins each.  Team Billie Jean topped Team Elton last year in Pittsburgh, 19-17, in an Overtime thriller.

 

For more information on Mylan WTT Smash Hits presented by GEICO, visit www.WTTSmashHits.com.

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Prince Global Sports to Open Brand Experience in NYC for US Open: New Fall Collections Unveiled

 

August 20th, 2013, BORDENTOWN, NEW JERSEY Prince Global Sports Premier 115L ESP Inside Angle LR.jpg (http://www.princetennis.com), manufacturer and distributor of performance racquet sports equipment, footwear and apparel, announced today that during the 2013 US Open they will open a brand experience space in New York City from August 23rd through September 1st, that will be located in the center of Midtown Manhattan’s tennis activity.

 

Throughout the first week of the US Open, Prince will give tennis enthusiasts in and around New York the opportunity to be a part of the excitement surrounding America’s slam. Prince NYC, located on the corner of Lexington Avenue and 47th Street, will be a hub of activity for the brand – featuring appearances from top Prince athletes, a viewing lounge for matches and limited edition merchandise for purchase. Prince will use this branded space to offer consumers and industry partners an exclusive look at the their new Fall 2013 product collections before they hit retailers in October.

 

“We have had great success with promotions at this year’s Grand Slams, the Prince Paris Tour at the French Open and the opening of our first brand retail store, Prince SW19, at Wimbledon,” remarked Mike Ballardie, CEO of Prince Global Sports. “It is important that we continue to capitalize on this momentum and the natural tennis ‘fever’ that hits New York City around the Open. Prince NYC will provide not only provide consumers with a unique experience but also an exclusive look at our exciting new collection for Fall 2013.”

 

Furthering their commitment to enhancing the performance and enjoyment of tennis for all players, Prince will introduce performance racquets featuring the new ESP Spin technology and a new line of “classic” racquets at Prince NYC. Racquets with Extreme String Pattern (“ESP”) Spin technology will deliver 30% more spin on the ball for players of all levels and will be available in Premier, Warrior and Tour Series racquets. The Classics Collection will bring back some of the brand’s most popular and top selling racquets, including the Classic Graphite 107 and 100, Classic Graphite 100 Longbody and Classic Response 97. Two new bag collections will also be unveiled – an updated Tour Team Collection in three new colors and a line of retro style bags that will compliment the Classics racquet collection.

 

Prince NYC will also showcase three new colors of the #1 selling T22 shoe that will be available in October 2013. One of which will be a special edition model in a pink and white color to help spread awareness about breast cancer, Breast Cancer Awareness T22 Prince will be donating 10% of all sales of this model to the non-profit organization Bright Pink during the month of October.

 

“The partnership with Bright Pink is a perfect match for Prince, “said Chrissy Ott, Global Marketing Manager for Prince Global Sports. “Bright Pink promotes not only early detection and prevention but also encourages healthy and active lifestyles for women so we knew that Bright Pink would be the right partner and would also be of interest to the tennis community.”

 

PRINCE NYC SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

August 23rd – Public Grand Opening – special appearance by David Ferrer, 7:30PM

August 24th – VIP Consumer Event – player appearance TBD

August 25th – Private Media Event featuring a special appearance by Mike & Bob Bryan

August 28th – Prince and Bright Pink Launch Party

For more information on Prince Tennis, visit www.princetennis.com, or to follow Prince Tennis on twitter go to @prince_tennis and on facebook at www.facebook.com/PrinceTennis.

 

Photos from events at the Prince Experience:

 

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Marion Bartoli Announces Retirement After Loss at Western & Southern Open

 

Marion-Bartoli-Day-2-Press-Conference1-e1342178509523

(August 14, 2013) 2013 Wimbledon Ladies’ champion Marion Bartoli has announced her retirement from tennis after losing her match to Simona Halep 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 at the Western & Southern Open on Wednesday night in Mason, Ohio.

“Well, it’s never easy and obviously there is never a time to say it or whatever, but that was actually the last match of my career, ” Bartoli said to open her post-match news conference.  “Sorry.”

“It’s time for me to retire and to call it a career.  I feel it’s time for me to walk away actually.”

The 28-year-old Frenchwoman ranked No. 7 in the world continued: “I made my dream a reality and it will stay forever with me, but now my body just can’t cope with everything.”

Bartoli said her achilles heel, shoulder, hips and lower back hurt constantly when she played.

“My body just can’t do it anymore.  I’ve been already through a lot of injuries since the beginning of the year.  I’ve been on the tour for so long, and I really push through and leave it all during that Wimbledon.

“I really felt I gave all the energy I have left inside my body.  I made my dream a reality and it will stay forever with me, but now my body just can’t cope with everything.”

So what does Bartoli plan on doing in the future? “Oh, gosh, I don’t know,” she said.  “I haven’t think about it so much.  There is so many things to do in life rather than playing tennis, so I’m sure I will find something.  I just need a bit of time to kind of settle down.”

“It’s been a tough decision to take.  I don’t take this easily.  I mean, I’ve been a tennis player for a long time, and I had the chance to make my biggest dream a reality.  I felt I really, really push through the ultimate limits to make it happen.

“But now I just can’t do it anymore.”

 

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Tennis News Net Notes for for Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A brief look at the news headlines of the day in the tennis world.

Marion-Bartoli-Day-2-Press-Conference1-e1342178509523

- Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli has announced her retirement from tennis after losing her match to Simona Halep 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 at the Western & Southern Open on Wednesday night in Mason, Ohio.

The 28-year-old Frenchwoman said in a post-match news conference: “I made my dream a reality and it will stay forever with me, but now my body just can’t cope with everything.”

Bartoli said her Achilles, shoulder, hips and lower back hurt when she plays.

“but my body just can’t do it anymore.  I’ve been already through a lot of injuries since the beginning of the year.  I’ve been on the tour for so long, and I really push through and leave it all during that Wimbledon.

“I really felt I gave all the energy I have left inside my body.  I made my dream a reality and it will stay forever with me, but now my body just can’t cope with everything.”

-The United States Tennis Association has called a news conference for Thursday to reveal plans for a makeover for the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Plans include a retractable roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium, along with two other stadiums and a plaza where spectators can view the practice courts.

Nicole Gibbs

Nicole Gibbs

-The USTA has announced the women’s wild cards for the US Open. Spots in the main draw will go to ttwo-time NCAA singles champion Nicole Gibbs, U.S. Fed Cup team member Vania King, rising young Americans Alison Riske, Shelby Rogers and Maria Sanchez and USTA Girls’ 18s national champion Sachia Vickery. Australia’s Ashleigh Barty and France’s Pauline Parmentier also will receive US Open main draw wild cards.

Players receiving 2013 US Open qualifying wild cards are: Jan Abaza, Brooke Austin, a USTA Girls’ 18s National Championships semifinalist; local teenager Louisa Chirico who reached the girls’ singles semifinals at both the French Open and Wimbledon this year; Victoria Duval, the 2012 USTA Girls’ 18s national champion; Allie Kiick, this USTA Girls’ 18s National Championships singles runner-up and doubles champion each of the last two years; local teenager Jamie Loeb, a 2013 Wimbledon junior singles quarterfinalist; Brianna Morgan, a freshman at Florida this year who won her first pro singles title in June; and Taylor Townsend, who made history in 2012 as the first American girl in 30 years to hold the year-end No. 1 world junior ranking.

- According to L’Equipe, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga has withdrawn from the US Open with a knee injury which has kept him off the tour.

Jack Sock

Jack Sock

-Former Top 10 player Fernando Verdasco and up-and-coming American Jack Sock have joined the singles field for the 2013 Winston-Salem Open.

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For Wimbledon Champion Marion Bartoli a Focus on One Match at a Time

Marion-Bartoli-Day-2-Press-Conference1-e1342178509523

By Brodie Elgin

(August 7, 2013) TORONTO – Every player deals with winning their first grand slam in different ways. For some, the pressure of becoming the hunted is a daunting proposition. For others, it’s a relief. On Monday, Marion Bartoli admitted that the month of attention following her Wimbledon crown was exciting, and allowed her to participate in off court activities she might have never had a chance to do otherwise. If there were to be fears of complacency from Bartoli following such great success and the perks that come with it, she started the process of erasing those Wednesday afternoon in Toronto.

 

Taking on young American Lauren Davis (who beat Svetlana Kuznetsova twice to reach the second round, once in qualifying and once again after Kuznetsova won a lucky loser into the first round), Bartoli took no time to race to a commanding 6-0 lead. Her two handed forehand and backhand appear to have the same zip as they did a month ago at Wimbledon, even in the slower Toronto conditions. These extreme grips allow her to sometimes create obscure angles which put Davis consistently into a defensive mode.

 

Bartoli admitted to being surprised at how well she was playing considering the pressure surrounding the match. “Yeah, I was surprised that I [started] so well, honestly. I didn’t play on the hard court since Monterrey in Mexico, which I believe was [in] the beginning of April. I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself, because the last two times I played in Toronto, I lost first round.” While Davis managed to find her way into the second set, she was still largely overwhelmed by the recent Wimbledon champion, falling 6-0, 6-3. “I just wanted to enjoy myself on the court and try my hardest, said Bartoli. ” Obviously being able to win 6-0, 6-3 was pretty good for me. I played well, and I’m very pleased with the way I handled everything.”

 

For Bartoli, the goal is to focus on one match at a time, with an eye at making a serious run at the US Open. While the hamstring is still a concern for her, she seemed confident that it should not become a serious issue. “My hamstring is getting better and better. The summer is a grueling season. You have to be really fit and ready. I’m just working on a daily basis to make sure I’m getting stronger and stronger on it so I don’t feel the same pain as I did in Wimbledon.”

 

Bartoli takes on Magdalena Rybarikova in her third round match on Thursday.

 

Brodie Elgin is the writer of mindtheracket.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at @MindTheRacket. He is covering the Rogers Cup in Toronto for Tennis Panorama News, follow @TennisNewsTPN for updates.

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