Inevitably, while searching for ways to express disappointment at the dull end to the sport’s marquee tournament, someone was going to stumble onto that big no-no of a talking point — a player’s looks.
Enter BBC radio commentator John Inverdale, who had this to say to his radio listeners after Bartoli’s triumph:
"Do you think Bartoli’s dad told her when she was little, ‘You’re never going to be a looker? You’ll never be a Sharapova, so you have to be scrappy and fight.’"
We doubt that exchange occured, and not just because her dad probably had no knowledge of Sharapova’s existence when Marion was little.
Inverdale later attempted to make amends, saying, "We poked fun, in a nice way, about how she looks … but Marion Bartoli is an incredible role model."
The BBC also apologized later. None of it stopped the torrent of social media criticism from rolling in. In no real surprise, this sort of thing is apparently old hat for Inverdale.
As for Bartoli herself? She offered a brilliant retort, befitting of someone who reportedly has a genius-level IQ.
"It doesn’t matter, honestly," she said. "I am not blond, yes. That is a fact. Have I dreamt about having a model contract? No. I’m sorry. But have I dreamed about winning Wimbledon? Absolutely, yes."
Marion’s father, Walter, also handled the situation with class. "I am not angry. She is my beautiful daughter," he said when told of the comments.