Marion Bartoli and Sabine Lisicki experienced very different results in the Wimbledon finals on Saturday, but both will benefit.
Bartoli was dominant in the straight-set victory, ousting Lisicki 6-1, 6-4 with little resistance to secure her first Grand Slam title. Lisicki came up well short after a tremendous tournament run, brought to tears by Bartoli’s remarkable play and her inability to make a final championship push.
For Bartoli, breaking through the Grand Slam barrier will only boost her confidence and elevate her level of play going forward. And while Lisicki experienced a deflating defeat, she too can use that performance to her advantage.
As Lisicki mentioned following the match, the 23-year-old was overcome by the circumstances, as quoted in an Associated Press report (via ESPN):
“I was just overwhelmed by the whole situation, but credit to Marion. She's been in this situation before and handled it well.”
Bartoli arguably handled it perfectly, and based on these photos Wimbledon tweeted, she was pretty proud of her accomplishment:
After 47 Grand Slam appearances, Bartoli finally broke through the barrier. At 28, she still has time to add more hardware to her trophy case, and she now knows what it takes to make that happen.
That’s not to suggest Bartoli will skyrocket to the top of the tennis world and close out her career with several Grand Slam victories, but there’s certainly reason to believe she can use the confidence of her Wimbledon win as a springboard to further success.
As she noted after the match, the win was something she’s focused on for a long time, per ESPN:
"I dreamed about this moment for so long. I was there in 2007, and I missed it. I know how it feels, Sabine, and I'm sure you will be there one more time. I have no doubt about it."
Considering how well Lisicki played throughout the tournament, she may be back in that situation more than once.
The 23-year-old rolled to straight-set victories in each of her matchups with unseeded players. More importantly, she upset world No. 1 Serena Williams, No. 14 seed Samatha Stosur and No. 4 seed Agnieszka Radwanska in securing a finals appearance.
While Bartoli still has a chance to add more major tournament wins to her resume, she has the disadvantage of being five years older than the runner-up and having already played out the majority of her career.
Lisicki, on the other hand, still has plenty of time to learn from her Wimbledon disappointment and make strides toward returning to the big stage in the years to come.
At its highest level, tennis is as much an exercise in mental preparation, focus and confidence as it is a test of athleticism and skill. For Bartoli and Lisicki, the psychological benefits of their Wimbledon success will be just as important as any on-court training.
Confidence and diffidence are both contagious. With terrific Wimbledon performances under their respective belts, both Lisicki and Bartoli should be extremely confident as they pursue more Grand Slam success.