WIMBLEDON, England – Marion Bartoli said the Wimbledon women’s final would be a battle of nerves. She dominated that battle, and then she won the match.
Bartoli, a 28-year-old from France, captured her first major singles championship Saturday, defeating German Sabine Lisicki 6-1, 6-4.
There are many ways to count how long Bartoli waited for this moment. She was competing in her 47th Grand Slam event, the most of any champion before winning her first title. She played in her first major final here six years ago but did not reach another one until Saturday. She had not won a tournament of any kind since 2011.
Bartoli counted it in hours: hours of dreams since she was 6, when she was taught the game by her father, Walter, her coach until earlier this year.
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“For a tennis player, you start to play like at 5 or 6 years old,” she said. “When you decide to turn pro, your dream is to win a Grand Slam. You dream about it every day. You think about every day.
“So when it happens, when it actually happens, you feel like, you know, you achieve something that you dream about for maybe millions of hours.”
No. 15 seed Bartoli is the first player to win the Wimbledon title without beating a top-10 seed and the third player seeded outside the top 10 to win Wimbledon in the Open era, which started in 1968.
She also is the first woman to win Wimbledon playing two-handed on both sides. Not even the player she was modeled after, nine-time major champion Monica Seles, won here.
Lisicki, seeded 23rd, was in her first major final, and it seemed both players were nervous at the start. Bartoli double-faulted to give Lisicki a break in the first game, but Lisicki gave it right back. She also double-faulted on break point, with a terrible toss on her second serve, a problem that persisted.
Lisicki was broken two more times in the first set, badly overhitting shots and unable to control her serve.
Bartoli, on the other hand, was laser-focused and hitting laser shots.
But Lisicki, 23, had been in holes before, down a break in the third sets against both Serena Williams and Agnieszka Radwanska before winning. The Centre Court crowd tried to rouse her as she won the opening game of the second set.
Bartoli saved four break points in the second game of the set and broke Lisicki in the third game.
At this point, Lisicki’s emotions got the best of her. Serving at 1-3, Lisicki started laughing when she had another bad toss. After two double faults, though, Lisicki was covering her face with her racket, in tears. Bartoli broke her again to go up 4-1.
“I was a bit sad that I couldn’t perform the way I can,” Lisicki said.
Lisicki saved three match points and then broke Bartoli to get to 3-5.
The second time Bartoli served for the championship, she held at love, closing with an ace.
“I could have seen it in slow motion,” Bartoli said.
“I could see the ball landing, the chalk come out, it’s an ace and I just win Wimbledon.”
• Bob and Mike Bryan, identical twins from California, beat Ivan Dodig of Croatia and Marcelo Melo of Brazil 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 for the doubles title. The Bryans are the first men’s doubles team in Open-era tennis to hold all four major titles at the same time. “It just feels like we’re adding nuts and whipped cream and cherries to our great career,” Bob Bryan said after the duo’s record 15th major title.
• Top-ranked Novak Djokovic of Serbia and No. 2 Andy Murray of Britain play for the men’s title Sunday in a match that begins at 6 a.m. PDT. The last British man to win Wimbledon was Fred Perry in 1936.