‘Terrible’ Bartoli bows out

2013 AEGON International, Marion Bartoli, News, Players

Marion BartoliMarion Bartoli, a former Eastbourne champion, withdrew from the 2013 AEGON International citing ill health.

The popular French ace, who breezed through her opening match, has been a regular at Devonshire Park although this year was unseeded.

She was set to face China’s no1 Li Na in a 2nd Round clash, but was unable to seek revenge for the defeat in their last meeting three seasons ago in Dubai.

Bartoli said: “I have a virus and a fever, so I’m feeling really terrible at the moment. I’m really disappointed to have to withdraw from Eastbourne because I have always done well at this tournament.

“I started to feel a bit like this on Monday, but each day it got worse. After a few days of rest I will hopefully be back on court to get ready for Wimbledon.”

Errani withdrawal promotes Stosur

2013 AEGON International, Agnieszka Radwanska, Ana Ivanovic, Caroline Wozniacki, Ekaterina Makarova, EXCLUSIVE, Li Na, Maria Kirilenko, Marion Bartoli, Nadia Petrova, Petra Kvitova, Players, Sam Stosur, Sara Errani, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Tamira Paszek, Yaroslava Shvedova

Exclusive by Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rudd

Sam Stosur Sam Stosur has been elevated to the no8 seeding as Italian Sara Errani withdrew from Eastbourne on Thursday afternoon.

Errani, who reached the semi-finals at the French Open but only picked up a single game against eventual champion Serena Williams, is suffering from a foot strain and an abductor strain.

The Aussie ace, who only opted for late wildcards at the grass court tournaments in Birmingham and Eastbourne instead of practice.

Her trademark kick serve is exposed to daze and confuse opponents, with the rest of the seeded players probably breathing a sigh of relief that they won’t have to face her in the opening round.

And with an incredible line-up for this year’s pre-Wimbledon tournament at Eastbourne, it is probably the best place to watch grass court tennis outside of The Championships at SW19.

Six former champions – Agnieszka Radwanska, Caroline Wozniacki, Marion Bartoli, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Tamira Paszek and Ekatrina Makarova – face stiff competition from the world’s leading ladies.

German Anglique Kerber, who let five match points slip in last year’s final, will be amongst the favourites to be crowned 2013 AEGON International champion.

Petra Kvitova, the Czech Republic’s 2011 Wimbledon winner, has the ability to go all the way on grass whereas top 10 ace Chinese no1 Li Na does not have the style of game particularly suited to grass.

However, grass court experts Stosur and Serbian star Ana Ivanovic will be relishing the opportunity of competing against the top players ahead of Wimbledon, although neither are likely to lift the crown on 22 June 2013.

There are an intriguing trio of Russians also in with a chance of making the final. Maria Kirilenko will be joined by relative veteran Nadia Petrova on their respective hunt for glory.

Players to watch, but who won’t be crowned 2013 Eastbourne champion, include British youngsters Laura Robson and Heather Watson.

America’s rising star Sloane Stephens and Kazakhstani’s Yaroslava Shvedova have withdrawn from the event.

Seeds are:

  1. Agnieszka RADWANSKA
  2. LI Na
  3. Angelique KERBER
  4. Petra KVITOVA
  5. Caroline WOZNIACKI
  6. Maria KIRILENKO
  8. Sam STOSUR

Greener grass beckons for Tomic

Bernard TOMIC, Marion Bartoli, Players


By Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rudd

Bernard Tomic deflatedBernard Tomic, narrowly ousted out of Queen’s in an opening round thriller by German Benjamin Becker, will be after more than just one more grass court contest ahead of The Championships at SW19.

The Australian ace, booed off court at Wimbledon for taking lumps of the hallowed turf following a shock defeat, will be unseeded at Eastbourne although that will not faze him.

However, his results have far from impressive ever since his father and coach John was controversially charged with assaulting Tomic’s former practice partner Thomas Drouet during the 2013 Madrid Masters in May.

Drouet, who recently became a practice partner for Devonshire Park regular Marion Bartoli, an ex-Eastbourne champion, could come briefly face-to-face with Tomic Snr at the 2013 AEGON International as the entire arena is only small.

The Frenchman was left which left with severe facial and neck injuries, although Tomic Snr is claiming he acted in self defence.

Tomic Snr is banned by the ATP Tour from being granted accreditation pending their investigation into the alleged assault, with the case in a Madrid court postponed until October.

But he was permitted to be a spectator at Queen’s in London and will be granted access to Eastbourne as a paying member of the public.

He saw his son fall 6-4 6-7 7-6 in his first match since retiring with a hamstring injury from Roland Garros, the 20-year-old’s decisive tiebreak littered with errors in an otherwise impressive display.

John TomicThe ATP rules can prohibit a person from gaining accreditation and in a statement said:

“The ATP continues its investigation into the incident in Madrid concerning John Tomic. Mr Tomic’s credential privileges continue to be suspended at all ATP tournaments until further notice.”

However, the ATP is respectfully leaving it up to individual tournaments to determine whether to ban Tomic from attending as a spectator.

A senior spokesman for the LTA told EastbourneTennis.com: “Regarding Mr Tomic. The safety of our players, officials, coaches and spectators is of paramount importance to us.

“We are adhering to ATP rules to ban him from having accreditation or from having access to accredited areas.

“But if Mr Tomic chooses to buy a ticket then we will treat him as any other member of the public, and will be expecting him to behave in an appropriate manner on site.”

Hopefully the name Tomic will be mentioned in glowing terms for on court exploits during Eastbourne’s genteel Wimbledon warm-up event rather than court controversy off court.

Tomic has the traits suited to low bouncing courts so should be able to capitalise during the brief grass court season, even though his quirky style resulted in a shock defeat during a rain delayed contest in London.


Radwanska’s role as leading lady

2013 AEGON International, Agnieszka Radwanska, Alize Cornet, Ana Ivanovic, Angelique Kerber, Caroline Wozniacki, Ekaterina Makarova, Elena Baltacha, Elena Vesnina, Johanna Konta, Klara Zakopalova, Laura Robson, Li Na, Lucie Safarova, Maria Kirilenko, Marion Bartoli, Nadia Petrova, Petra Kvitova, Players, Roberta Vinci, Sara Errani, Seeds, Sloane Stephens, Sorana Cirstea, Su-Wei Hsieh, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Tamira Paszek, Varvara Lepchenko, Yanina Wickmayer, Yaroslava Shvedova

By Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rudd

2013 entrants and seeds

Sara ErraniSara Errani, who brilliantly battled her way to the semi-finals at Roland Garros, misses Eastbourne with a late withdrawal.
The exciting Italian is suffering from both a foot injury and an abductor strain.
But her loss has elevated Aussie ace Sam Stosur to provisionally become a seeded player, although that is dependent following her shock exit at the 2013 French Open.
Russian regular Nadia Petrova and France’s Marion Bartoli are battling it out with Stosur to take the final no8 seeding.
Stosur, who only made late applications for wildcard entries at both Birmingham and Eastbourne grass court court events, will be among the players expected to progress during the week-long tournament.
With Li Na also granted a wildcard entry following a poor performance at the 2013 French Open, then the Chinese no1 has stepped into the shoes of Errani to take over as no2 seed. Li will be extremely eager to kick start her grass court season with progress at Devonshire Park.
Two former Eastbourne champions, top seed Agnieszka Radwanska and Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki will provide stiff opposition on their favourite surface.
Angelique Kerber fluffed five match points in the 2012 AEGON International final to Austrian ace Tamira Paszek, so the German star will be determined to go one step better having learnt from her mistakes.
Former Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova as never had much luck at Eastbourne, and the Czech Republic ace will be keen to put that record straight ahead of SW19.
Maria Kirilenko and Serbian star Ana Ivanovic will bring glamour to the courts as well as their amazing array of tennis weapons, although the Russian is unlikely to make much impact in a tough draw.
Seeds are:

  1. Agnieszka RADWANSKA
  2. LI Na
  3. Angelique KERBER
  4. Petra KVITOVA
  5. Caroline WOZNIACKI
  6. Maria KIRILENKO
  8. Nadia PETROVA

Bartoli brings in Drouet

Marion Bartoli, News, Players

Marion BartoliMarion Bartoli, who missed out on getting former Eastbourne champion Amelie Mauresmo as coach, has hired Thomas Drouet as her practice partner.

Drouet, who was the hitting partner of Bernard Tomic before he suffered a broken nose and compounded vertebrae in an allegedly unprovoked head-butt outside a hotel during the 2013 Madrid Open by Tomic’s father John, begins his new role for the French Open.

Bartoli, the highest ranked French player on the WTA Tour, has struggled for form ever since her initial split from her father.

And she has returned to working with her father after two coaches in as many months failed to improve her game, partly due to her unorthodox style that has long been frowned upon by the French Tennis Federation.

Bartoli was aiming to find a suitable coach in a bid to win a Grand Slam title and wanted Mauresmo, who is excelling in charge of the French Federation Cup, because she had reached the coveted world no1 status and won majors during a highly successful career.

But Bartoli, the 2011 AEGON International champion, has an aggressive game that is suited to grass and has finished runner-up at Wimbledon.

The forthcoming grass court season will be a golden opportunity for Bartoli to get back on track and leap back into the world’s top 10 if she can – as expected – pull off impressive results at Eastbourne and SW19.



Marion Bartoli

2013 AEGON International, Marion Bartoli
Bartoli, Marion Bartoli, Marion
Le Puy en Velay, France
Geneva, Switzerland
5′ 6 3/4″ (1.70 m)
139 lbs. (63 kg)
Turned Pro

Born in Auvergne, France in 1984, Marion Bartoli made her WTA tournament debut on home soil during the 2011 French Open.

It took her until 2006 to win her first senior title, which she lifted at the ASB Classic in Auckland. However, she made up for lost time by winning two more that same year, in Tokyo and Quebec, and finished the season ranked number 17 in the world.

Since then she has managed to finish every season above that position, thus cementing her place as one of the most consistent players on the WTA Tour circuit.

She surprisedly reaching the 2007 Wimbledon final, where she eventually lost out to Venus Williams. That same year she featured in her first WTA Tour Championships in Madrid, coming in as a late replacement for the injured Serene Williams during the Round Robin phases.

Including the two titles she won in 2011, a year in which she also reached the semi-finals of the French Open, and is a past champion at Eastbourne’s Devonshire Park.

Bartoli shock split

Marion Bartoli, News

By Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rudd

Marion-Bartoli on OlympicsMarion Bartoli, the 2011 AEGON International champion, has ended her coaching relationship with father Walter following two decades of success and will have a new coach for the 2013 Eastbourne Tennis tournament.

The unorthodox ace has always faced criticism from the French Tennis Federation (FFT) over her both her gritty style of play and coaching methods implemented by her father.

Dr. Walter Bartoli, a former physician and GP, is set to return to his medical career with his daughter determined to reignite her career, preferably under the guidance of ex-Wimbledon winner and French Federation Cup captain Amelie Mauresmo.

Bartoli had refusing to represent in the Fed Cup for the past eight years as the rules exclude parents or private coaches from being involved during Fed Cup preparation.

However, Bartoli travelled to France’s Fed Cup home tie in Limoges against Germany without her father for the first time since 2004. Unfortunately, the 28-year-old was unable to compete as she was suffering from flu.

Bartoli, the 2007 Wimbledon runner-up, said: “Much has been discussed together, there is no rupture or clash, it is just the culmination of a long reflection that has happened little by little.

“My father always wanted the best for me. I talk to him every day on the phone, there is no problem.

“He told me that it might be better if I try something else to get what I want to win a Grand Slam title. For me the ideal would be to be with someone to help me win a Grand Slam and I think Amelie can, but it is up to her.”

Moving forward, Bartoli will use the services of FFT coaches and physios such as Nicolas Perrotte and Xavier Moreau.


2012 Eastbourne Tennis Videos

Andreas Seppi, Andy Roddick, Angelique Kerber, Caroline Wozniacki, Klara Zakopalova, Marion Bartoli, Tamira Paszek, WTA Players

Paszek problem for Bartoli

Angelique Kerber, Marion Bartoli, Tamira Paszek

Tamira Paszek saw off the challenge of French star Marion Bartoli with a fiercely-fought three set thriller over 185 gruelling minutes.

The 21-year-old Austrian ace saw off the defending champion 4-6 7-5 6-4 in blustery conditions on Centre Court.

Paszek, the world no59, admitted:

I had to try to keep moving and keep focused because it was very, very tough conditions out there.

“It was very, very tough, I just had to try to keep moving, keep my focus. I was actually pretty calm. But I felt my hands were freezing cold all through the match.

“I wasn’t frustrated with the way it is, the weather was that way. You cannot change Mother Nature, so for that reason I just tried to keep focus on every point.

“It feels amazing to be in the final, and I love Eastbourne – it feels like home coming back every year.”

Paszek will play in her first WTA final this term, and in her maiden Eastbourne title decider.

She faces rising German star Angelique Kerber who thrashed Czech Republic’s Klara Zakapolova 6-0 6-3 in an hour.

Beaten Bartoli, who needed her thigh strapped when trailed 3-2 in the final set, fumed:

It was a nightmare to play in those conditions! I got chances in every single game and ended up losing them.

“My leg got pretty tight and then tired, but I think in two or three days it will be back to normal.

“In these conditions, even if I was leading, I never felt comfortable. I didn’t make one ace today, where yesterday I served 10 or 12. It’s really levelling when you have those kind of conditions.

“But I really tried my hardest, and there is not much I could have done better or try harder. On the other hand Tamira played really well, she deserved to win.”