I May Be In Love With Marion Bartoli

27th June 2011, and French tennis player Marion Bartoli knocks defending champion Serena Williams out of Wimbledon. So what is it about Bartoli that attracts me so much? Read on to find out…

You wouldn’t exactly call Marion Bartoli a young up and coming player. She is 26 after all, got to the final at Wimbledon 2007, and was the 9th seed at the 2011 event. No stranger to the top levels of the game then, so why is it such a big story for her to beat Serena Williams?

Well, it’s a big story when *anyone* beats Serena Williams. With her sister Venus she is a giant in the game. I’ve often written about my doubts over her sportsmanship, but I have no doubts about her years of effort, her years of goal achievement from hard, hard work.

Bartoli has put in the same hard work, but I think with her some key elements of goal achievement can be seen more easily – maybe that’s why I like watching her.

I remember well her run to the final in 2007. At that time she had a most peculiar service action, where she would appear to let her wrist go limp just before serving.
It looked odd, and the commentators thought it looked odd too.

The goal achievement lesson there was to not bother about other people, even if they think you are odd. Go with what works for you.

She has tinkered with her serve lots of times, and trying different things is another good lesson. Currently in 2011 she has a pull back of her serving arm which looks like a ballet move – straight back behind herself at chest level, not up in the air like most.

It looks odd (again), and she practices it over and over. It looks like she is striking a pose, but when you think about it, golfers practice their drives over and over, so why shouldn’t a tennis player?

It’s not only her serve and practice that’s unusual, she constantly bounces around on her feet, and I mean constantly! Twitching and shuffling around.

I find her enthusiasm infectious, it looks naïve and childish. Obviously it isn’t, but her sheer delight at the point of victory made me want to give her a big hug.

I’m not a huge fan of the immediate post match interview, they are supposed to be authentic reaction, but because the player actually just wants to warm down and get off, the idea gets a bit lost. In Bartoli’s case though, she gave 2 key points…

The first was a comment about her constant practice swings and bouncing around. She said it helps her concentrate on her own game, rather than worry about what the opponent is doing. That’s a key element in goal achievement, as is something else she said.

She said that with all her tinkering of her technique, it’s important that the belief is there when she plays. In her game against Williams, she said she believed, thought, and acted like a winner.

It’s one of the reasons I like sport, because the formula (and risks) of setting out on goal achievement are laid out as clear as day.

Marion Bartoli has something about her which draws me in, and I may well send her an email using my school level French –

Dear Marion,
Je suis un chat (I am a cat).
Yours sincerely,

That’s as good as it gets, I hope it works, because I really do think I may be in love with Marion Bartoli.

Don’t forget to read my book ‘Transform Your Life in 21 Days!’ which has been described as motivational magic’

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