Star boots parents from Wimbledon
Former Wimbledon runner-up Marion Bartoli caused widespread amazement Saturday when she demanded her father and mother leave Court 12 and let her battle out her third-round match alone.
The unorthodox Frenchwoman is regarded as having one of the closest coaching relationships on the tour with her father Walter, who introduced her to tennis and gave up his career as a doctor to coach her.
But when Bartoli went 3-4 down in the final set against former top-10 player Flavia Pennetta of Italy, her emotions boiled over and she wanted both Walter and mother Sophie to go, The (London) Sunday Times reported.
"I don't remember exactly what I said but I think it was really clear," she said with a hint of grim humor. "I just had to let go my frustrations and express myself in some way. I could have done something else stupid, but whatever."
Bartoli went 3-5 down and came back to win 5-7 6-4 9-7, setting up a fourth-round meeting with Serena Williams. Her father watched the revival on TV.
Bartoli afterwards claimed that the banishing of her parents held no greater significance than breaking a racket to release frustration.
"I was so tired and exhausted that really I had to express my emotions somehow," she said. "I saw them right after the match, my parents, and they understood completely.
"It was not against them. It was just that we played a very long first set, and I was exhausted and I was tired and I was feeling worse and worse.
"I normally never act like that."
Bartoli was also involved in controversy with her father in the previous round against Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain, when she was fined for receiving illegal coaching during another tough three-set match.