Dois dias antes de Roland Garros começar a participação de Marion Bartoli chegou a ser colocada em dúvida, quando ele desistiu da final do WTA de Estrasburgo, com uma lesão na coxa esquerda, no meio do jogo contra Petkovic.
Ela resolveu jogar em Paris e arriscar e agora, com apenas dois jogos para alguém chegar ao título do Grand Slam, ela é a única francesa na competição entre homens e mulheres.
Com a atenção voltada para os homens, para os problemas de Aravane Rezai, Virginie Razzano entre outros e talvez pelo fato de estar lesionada, Bartoli conseguiu entrar para jogar o “seu Grand Slam,” sem se pressionar e parece que deu certo.
Nesta terça derrotou a campeã de 2009 Svetlana Kuznetsova por 7/6 6/4 para alcançar a semifinal em Paris pela primeira vez na carreira e se tornar a primeira francesa desde 2005 com Mary Pierce a chegar tão longe na competição.
A comemoração em quadra foi tanta que ela teve que se explicar depois. “Nem quando cheguei à final de Wimbledon em 2007 senti tanta emoção assim. Foram muitos sentimentos ao mesmo tempo. A torcida, todo mundo gritando meu nome, aplaudindo e quando ela errou aquela direita percebi que estava na semi do meu Grand Slam. Finalmente.”
Aos 27 anos, a francesa treinada pelo pai, o médico Walter Bartoli, muitas vezes criticada pela sua postura, pelos métodos de treinamento do pai, enfim conquistou o público francês.
Leia alguns trechos da entrevista coletiva dela que enfrenta por uma vaga na final a atual campeã, Francesca Schiavone. A outra semi é entre Maria Sharapova e Andrea Petkovic:
Q. You looked so excited. The point before you won, it seemed like you were going to have a heart attack. Can you just describe…
MARION BARTOLI: You know what? My heartbeat is extremely low, so for me to have a heart attack it really takes a lot.
But, you know, I think I was ‑‑ as I said after the match, even if I played the final of Wimbledon, I never felt that excited after a match, to be honest. It was just so many feelings the same time. The crowd. The wave. They were telling my name. They were supporting me.
And when she missed that forehand, then I was just like, My God, I’m in the semifinal of my home Grand Slam. Finally I can play well here. (Laughter.)
It was a big relief.
Q. It seems like just watching you over the years that at any tournament you’ve never been this happy, so excited, so involved in your tennis, so involved with the crowd. Yeah? Is that true?
MARION BARTOLI: Yeah, I think it was definitely the key. The past years I really felt the pressure here. I’ve been in a bad way. I was really going to the court without any confidence, to be honest.
I was feeling ‑‑ I was not feeling well on the court. I was not feeling well outside the court. I was scared about what the press would say when I’m gonna lose the match or whatever.
I really thought that this year I should try to take some pleasure, even though it’s difficult, because, of course, we are French and we want to do well. I really tell myself, If you use that crowd, if you use that to put some pressure on the other one, maybe you can do well.
Even if the first three matches were extremely tough, I won them in three sets ‑ and some very tight contests. I really felt like I was growing in confidence. Really today it shows, because the match were extremely tight.
I don’t know how many points we finished, but I think it was not a big difference.
Q. Over the years, there have been people who have said, Oh, Marion should not work with this person; Marion should not play this way; she will never make it if she does this, if she does that. What does it mean for you to have this achievement and to make it to the semis in your national tournament?
MARION BARTOLI: Do you mean before 2007 or after 2007? Because do you really think like I shouldn’t practice with my dad when I made the final of Wimbledon or something?
Q. That’s not what I’m saying.
MARION BARTOLI: Okay. What are you saying?
Q. I’m saying you have had people very critical of how you’ve approached playing tennis and who you’ve trained with and so forth. Does it give you…
MARION BARTOLI: Honestly, if you start to take your decisions based off what the other one think about yourself, that’s not the way I’m thinking. I mean, if you listen to everyone, you never take a decision.
Because obviously you’re gonna have hundred different opinions, and hundred people are going to say to you you should do this, should do this, this way, that way. They’re not the one who are waking up every morning and walking out on the court.
So I’m just doing what I think is the best for me. So far you can’t tell me that I haven’t achieved anything.
Q. You have this strange routine between points, like swinging the racquet before returning, and also jumping around before serving. Can you explain to us this routine? What’s the reason for it?
MARION BARTOLI: Well, the main reason for me, it’s really to stay focused on what I have to do. It’s really important for me to relieve the pressure of only the score or the scoreboard or my opponent and really focus on myself and what I need to do.
Obviously because clay, it’s not my best surface, I really need to stay proactive between each point. Maybe not be the same on hard court or grass court, because obviously I’m feeling a lot better on these kind of surface.
But here, especially in the French Open, it’s very important for me to stay focused on what I have to do and not thinking too much about the outside.
Q. I don’t know if you like statistics or the history of tennis, but you’re only the fourth French female player to have reached the semifinals here at Roland Garros. Do you feel something special, an achievement?
MARION BARTOLI: Well, a lot of pride, of course. I’m proud because I’m one of the four best female players. But Mary reached the finals here and she won here. I would like to play the finals, too.
But, you know, I started at Retournec, at the tennis club with 300 tennis players, and now I’m reaching the highest level in France. So this is an achievement, yes.
Q. What can you say about the people who support you, your family, the people who are close to you? I have the impression that you really live ‑‑ you’ve talked about your dad on the court. What can you tell us about them, how you and they have lived through these two weeks?
MARION BARTOLI: Well, it’s immense happiness and great satisfaction, too, because we have put in a lot of work with my father on the courts, because he practices me, and this is fruitful.
But this is something we do jointly. I’ll share my feelings with him, what I feel on the court. We try and improve together.
It’s not like he’s going to give me orders, do this, that, and this, full stop. No, it’s an exchange of ideas between him and me.
And then I have my family, as well: my brother, my uncle, my mother, my grandparents. We can share these moments of happiness. You know, when you win these matches, it’s immense joy. It’s incredible to be able to share this with your family, because they know how much it counts for me.
Q. Marion, what about betting on yourself before the tournament?
MARION BARTOLI: I’m not a gambler myself. But, you know, when I played the finals at Wimbledon, the odds were 1000 against me. So if someone had invested one pound, he would have won 1000. Not bad, I think.
I don’t know about my rating at the beginning of the tournament this year, but it was probably the same: 1 to 1000. I don’t know about my odds. I can’t say anything about betting on myself.
Frankly, I think I would have hoped to do this, but this was pure hope, more than conviction.
PS – foto do Monfils de Cynthia Lum