Wow. Marion Bartoli really is champion of Wimbledon. Who would have expected that two weeks ago? I'm very glad I got up at 1am to watch the final even if Lisicki's nerves meant she was some way short of her best. Nerves play an even bigger part in women's major finals than for the men - the serve isn't as dominant so a soul-destroying run of say six losing games is much more common, and unlike for the men, six games is half the match. Bartoli was extremely determined and pumped up but all that adrenalin didn't compromise her thought processes in any way. Game two of the second set was huge psychologically, as was the first point of game three where Bartoli was well out of the rally but hit a down-the-line winner that would have been called out if Lisicki had challenged. Lisicki was struggling with her ball toss and by game five, when she chose a bad time to play a drop shot (people try that so often when they aren't thinking straight) she really just wanted to get off the court. I was happy that Lisicki staved off three match points for what would have been a harsh 6-1 6-1 defeat. For the next ten minutes she was a different player, but just as things were getting interesting Bartoli served out to love with a new racket and new balls, finishing on the right end of a crucial opening rally and serving an ace on match point.
That someone different like Bartoli can claim the greatest prize in the game must be a good thing. I really liked her speech as she held the trophy. She supposedly has a sky-high IQ (I saw someone on ESPN unsuccessfully try and trip her up on the Fibonacci sequence) and is also a keen painter. It took her 47 attempts to win her first grand slam title - that's a record: Novotna was older when she won Wimbledon in '98 but it was "only" her 45th attempt. As for Lisicki, she's got an excellent aggressive game which we only saw last night in that late cameo. I doubt it'll take her 47 tries to claim a slam.
The hard drive of my laptop is stuffed and it's costing me $340 to get it sorted. That's an expense I could have done without.
I was a bit tired today after getting up last night, and there's no way I'm watching the men's final tonight. Out of the blue Tracy invited me and Tom over to play some unusual board games this afternoon. This was fun even if I didn't know what was going on half the time - I'll write about it when I can do so less painfully.