The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

July 6, 2013

Bartoli beats Lisicki to don Wimbledon crown

— LONDON (AP) — One of the strangest Wimbledons produced one of its quirkiest champions in Marion Bartoli, the winner of a mistake-filled final that left the overwhelmed runner-up in near tears during the match.

Bartoli, whose power game bothered Sabine Lisicki as much as any of her notable eccentricities, won 6-1, 6-4 Saturday to capture her first Grand Slam title in her 47th appearance at a major.

"I dreamed about this moment for so long," Bartoli said during her on-court interview.

She addressed Lisicki, who was shaking and in tears when she received the runner-up trophy.

"I was there in 2007 and I missed it," said Bartoli, the runner-up to Venus Williams that year. "I know how it feels, Sabine, and I'm sure you will be there one more time. I have no doubt about it."

Indeed, the 15th-seeded Bartoli played the part of the experienced veteran. After losing serve with a pair of double-faults in the first game, she ticked off 11 of the next 12.

The 23rd-seeded Lisicki was trailing 5-1, 40-15 in the second set, then came up with a rally from out of nowhere — unexpected considering she was almost weeping on the court minutes earlier.

"I was just overwhelmed by the whole situation, but credit to Marion," Lisicki said. "She's been in this situation before and handled it well."

Lisicki saved three match points and then pulled within 5-4.

But after a tense changeover, Bartoli served the match out at love, dropping to her knees after hitting an ace on match point, then climbing the wall into the players box to celebrate with 2006 Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo — the last Frenchwoman to win a Grand Slam title — and her friends and family.

"Maybe a backhand winner but just not an ace," Bartoli said when asked how she imagined she might close her first Wimbledon title. "I've been practicing my serve for so long. At least I saved it for the best moment."

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