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Bartoli sets sights on Doha finale.

Byline: Alaric Gomes

Dubai Former Wimbledon finalist Marion Bartoli has set her sights on the year-end Sony Ericsson Championships in neighbouring Doha this season.

"I would love to be in Doha for the year-end championship and this means that I will need to finish in the top-8. I love the Middle East. I like the people and every time I go out they think that I belong to this place or I am a resident here. I love everything here," Bartoli told Gulf News after advancing to the third round at the 2010 Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships with a 6-2, 6-1 win against Romanian Alexandra Dulgheru yesterday.

Tricky match

Bartoli really has to put in a lot of good results as she stands a distant No 57 with 160 points in the singles race in the Sony Ericsson Championships to be played in Doha from October 26-31.

"It was a tricky match, but the win was good for me as I had never played her before. I have started well here and I am glad I could continue with the same momentum today as well," she said after her match yesterday.

Coached by her father Dr William, Bartoli ended runner-up at the 2007 Wimbledon Championship and later that year went on to achieve her highest career ranking of No 9. The 25-year-old is currently ranked No 13 on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour.

Though she has defeated two world no 1 players u Justine Henin in the 2007 Wimbledon semifinals and Jelena Jankovic in the fourth round of the 2009 Australian Open u Bartoli has no regrets whatsoever.

"I think I am really pleased with my career so far. I have nothing to regret. I have been trying my best every single day and I can't do more. It's a sport and it's very difficult for everyone. Some day you can play very well and some days you can play poorly and you don't know why," she said.

"I've been pretty much in everything including a Grand Slam final and some other big tournaments. I have beaten some of the best players in the world and I can't ask for more."

However, she does have a tinge of unfulfilled dreams. "Looking back I feel that if I was playing the way I am playing right now I could have won Wimbledon [in 2007]. It's always nice to have such feelings, so I would love to be in a Grand Slam final again."

The Frenchwoman did have a chance at last month's Australian Open when she lost to China's Jie Zheng in the third round. "Yes, this is a match I should have won. She [Zheng] went on to reach the semifinals," she admitted.


in love with dubai

Marion Bartoli will be travelling with an extra suitcase when she departs from the 2010 Barclays Dubai Tennis Championship later this week.

The French girl is so much in love with this place that she came in two weeks early and then during her free time she did a lot of sight-seeing and shopping. "I love everything here," she blushed.

"I have been here since two weeks and my mum came in from Europe this week. So we've been doing some sight-seeing and go out to the shopping malls and do some shopping. Everything here is my dream and I have one extra case to carry back home," she admitted.

"I have bought the usual stuff u clothes, shoes, bags and everything a woman needs."

She identifies well with the place and its people. "I like the people and every time I go out they think that I belong to this place or that I am a resident here," Bartoli stated.

u A.G.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Feb 17, 2010
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