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bartoli: lisicki tears upset me.

Byline: MIKE ALLEN

SHE has an IQ of 175, the maddest routine in tennis and can finally call herself a Grand Slam winner, but Marion Bartoli also has a heart of gold.

The French pocket battleship was insulted for her looks by BBC presenter John Inverdale, but showed beauty is more than skin deep when revealing she felt so sorry for tearful opponent Sabine Lisicki during their one-sided Wimbledon final that she wanted to cross the net and hug her.

German Lisicki (above), 23, could not hide her tears as the enormity of the occasion brought on an attack of nerves that destroyed her game.

Bartoli (right), who finally won a Grand Slam at a record 47th attempt, said: "I felt so sorry for her. I wanted to take her in my arms at some point because it was hard to see her like that.

"To cry on court during a Wimbledon final, you must feel so lonely. I just wanted to help her, tell her, 'It's OK, it's just a tennis match'.

"The hug we had after the match was extremely sweet. It was just perfect, showing the human values and sportsmanship values both of us carry onto the court. I think it shows also in our attitude the respect we show to each other which is great."

Bartoli certainly appeared to be unnerved herself by Lisicki's tears, losing three match points and then three games in a row.

But she finally closed out the 6-1 6-4 win with an ace, justifying her faith in an approach that manifests itself on the court with an extraordinary display of hopping, skipping, jumping, hair-flicking, racket swiping and shadow boxing between points.

"At 5-1, when I had those match points, I really got stressed," she added. "My legs could not move any more because I was feeling the finish line and, of course, when you see the finishing line of the Wimbledon championships it is kind of hard to deal with that situation."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 8, 2013
Words:331
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