One of the most wild and unpredictable Wimbledon tournaments of all time is in the record books, as No. 15 Marion Bartoli defeated No. 23 Sabine Lisicki by a score of 6-1, 6-4 in the women's final. With her straight sets victory, Bartoli earned her first career Grand Slam win.
More importantly, Bartoli proved that she belongs within the ranks of the grass-court elite.
Bartoli has struggled with consistency in recent seasons, but her pure ability has never been questioned. Specifically on grass, Bartoli has been able to pull out impressive victories over some of the top players in the world.
2013 just so happened to be a win of redemption.
Marion Bartoli wins her 1st Grand Slam title in her 47th Grand Slam tourney. (Most in Open Era before 1st Grand Slam title) #espnwimbledon— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 6, 2013
After losing the Wimbledon final to Venus Williams in 2007, Bartoli finally broke through in 2013.
It may have taken some time, but the 28-year-old has long been one of the most respected players on the WTA Tour. From her unorthodox two-handed forehand to her uncontainable passion, Bartoli is one of the most recognizable faces in women's tennis.
Now, she's also a Grand Slam champion.
Untouchable in 2013
Much has been made of Marion Bartoli's weak draw, but when presented with the challenges she faced, the French star aced her tests. Not only was she dominant, defeating every opponent in her path, but she was truly untouchable.
Bartoli didn't drop a single set during the entire Wimbledon tournament.
Congrats to Marion Bartoli! From 1st round on Ct14 to 14 straight sets and a #wimbledon title impossible to foresee. Solid, focused today— Chris Fowler (@cbfowler) July 6, 2013
Regardless of whom you draw, that's a spectacular feat.
Per ESPN Stats & Info, Bartoli is the first woman to achieve this feat since Serena Williams in 2010. When you consider who you're comparing Bartoli with, it becomes quite clear that she was absolutely brilliant at Wimbledon.
And it wasn't the first time.
Bartoli reached the Wimbledon final before, also making a quarterfinals appearance in 2011. There has been inconsistency in between those events, but Bartoli's issue has long been her temper, and not necessarily her ability.
In 2013, she proved capable of doing the one thing that she was unable to accomplish throughout her career—channel her frustrations into motivation and thus remain focused.
What It Means for Future Events
The most significant strides made by Marion Bartoli were not in her physical approach to the game, but instead her mental makeup. Revered as a fierce competitor, Bartoli has long displayed the heart of a champion, but too often allowed her mistakes to get the best of her from a mental perspective.
Throughout the 2013 Wimbledon tournament, Bartoli proved that she's developed the short-term memory necessary to survive an event as grueling as a Grand Slam.
With the U.S. Open looming, where Bartoli reached the quarterfinals in 2012, the opportunity is present for Bartoli to break through once again. With a new-found confidence, having finally put an end to her Grand Slam drought, Bartoli certainly has reason to be confident.
Keep in mind, it took three competitive sets for Maria Sharapova to knock Bartoli out of the U.S. Open in 2012.
If Bartoli is able to maintain the mental strength she displayed at Wimbledon, there are few women in the world capable of weathering her two-handed storm. With the Wimbledon crown finally in her possession, our money is on her proving to be a legitimately elite player.
Something she's been on the brink of becoming for years on hand.