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Interview with Marion Bartoli: "There is massive potential for tennis in India"

She spoke exclusively to Sportskeeda about her trip to India, her assessment of the talent here, and what it means to play at a Grand Slam.

‘I am sure this won’t be my last visit to this beautiful country’

Marion Bartoli, who won the 2013 Wimbledon title and achieved a career high ranking of number 7, visited New Delhi recently where she conducted a coaching clinic and interacted with the players at the RK Khanna Tennis Academy.

She was in India as a brand ambassador for the Rendezvous Tournament, a tournament for junior players organized by Roland Garros, where the winner gets to compete for a wildcard entry at the French Open Juniors in Paris in May-June this year.

Bartoli, who clinched the Wimbledon crown without dropping a single set, spoke exclusively to Sportskeeda about her trip to India, her assessment of the talent here and what it means to play at a Grand Slam.

Here are the excerpts:

Q – Hi Marion! How would you describe your experience in India?

A – Hectic! (laughs) The schedule here has been really tight but I am very happy to be here and I hope to be back in the near future as well. The overall experience has been wonderful and I am sure this won’t be my last visit to this beautiful country.

Q – What are your thoughts on the talents of the players here? How do such junior-level tournaments help in the development of young players?

A – I have not seen enough of the kids here to make a certain statement but from what I have been able to, I am impressed. There is no dearth of talent here and the potential is great as well. Tournaments such as these are a great platform for juniors to express themselves and also develop self-confidence. 

Q – What struck you the most while conducting the clinic and interacting with the kids?

A – I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm shown by the kids here and they looked really positive. They listened to my words very carefully and tried their best to apply what they were learning, which I think is a great sign and bodes well for the future.

Q – What does it mean for a tennis player to play at the Phillippe Chatrier and such prestigious venues?

A – It is the stuff of dreams, honestly! It means everything to a player and is the result of years of toil and hard work. For juniors to play at such venues, it acts as a great boost in morale and a chance to compete against the best in the world. I hope to some of the kids from here in India playing there in the coming years!

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