Former Wimbledon champion and World No. 7 Marion Bartoli was in New Delhi on Wednesday, where she conducted a clinic for the budding tennis players at the RK Khanna Tennis Academy in New Delhi.
The French star was in the national capital as the brand ambassador of the Rendezvous Tournament organized by Roland Garros, where junior players get a chance to fight out for a wildcard entry into the draw at the French Open Juniors in Paris in May.
Bartoli, who beat Sabine Lisicki in the 2013 Wimbledon final provided some invaluable tips to the kids present at the event and inspired them with her words as well as actions. She started by speaking to the players and asked them about their dreams and motivations.
“I came from a very remote village in France: Bartoli
She laid great emphasis on the importance of being mentally strong and how one needs to be 100% committed to the game in order to make it to the top level. She roused the budding players by telling her own story and how she overcame serious hardships on her path to success.
“I came from a very remote village in France and the only courts we had there were made of tarmac, due to which we would get injured many times. The temperatures there could go as low as -10°C and there were many kids who played there. The road was difficult, but with sincere hard work and dedication, I could make it to the top,” said Bartoli.
The Frenchwoman also gave a fine example of how it is necessary to sustain levels of motivation during one’s younger days and how one must not quit when the going gets hard. “When I was eight years old, I wrote a letter to my parents that I will be Wimbledon Champion one day,” said Bartoli. “Now, I have the same letter framed and it sits next to my Wimbledon trophy at home!”
After these stirring words, Bartoli picked up her racket and displayed some exquisite groundstrokes, including her iconic double-handed forehand. She then watched the players come up one-by-one and hit a few shots, after which she helped them make corrections to their technique and offered words of advice.
From the backlift to footwork, she kept a close eye on her wards and their execution of shots.
The clinic ended after a closing word by Bartoli, as she once again focused on the importance of perseverance and commitment in becoming a successful player. She then signed posters and tennis balls for the attendees and posed for pictures as well.