Tennis - Former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli says her goal while working with Jelena Ostapenko is to get the Latvian back in the Top 8 of the world rankings and make her win another Grand Slam. The duo have been working recently together and Ostapenko has already reached two finals on the WTA Tour, winning one of them in Luxembourg.
Speaking to Ouest, Bartoli says, "For the moment, my main goal is to bring Jelena where she needs to be, that is to say in the top 8, play the Masters, if possible next year, and make her win a Grand Slam again. According to our discussions before her return home for her weeks of vacation, it's really a role in everyday life: to be there every day, in her winter preparation in a few weeks, as on all the tournaments she will play then.
She really needs a lot of support. [...] My role with her will be quite important, but as I explained it to her I also have my role of commentator, which I want to keep. All this is to clarify to organize a program." Bartoli says she was motvated to work with Ostapenko to help her climb back up in the rankings, "She won a very young Grand Slam (20 years old) and was able to reach high in the rankings.
My goal is to bring her back to that level. For that, I tried to give her the instructions and advice that I felt were important to her. We had luck and that it works right away. For her to finish the year in the top 50, on a positive note, it's very interesting and we can build something for next year.
I knew her for two years: the year she won Roland Garros, I was doing her interviews on the court. We always kept in touch, and she sometimes asked me for some advice on players she did not know very well, or if I could help her a little on her game, sometimes cheer up her spirits.
And then, just before Linz, she asked me to come and lend her a hand. I accepted the mission and it worked very well. " The Frenchwoman, who also works as a commentator, is hopeful that France will win the Fed Cup when they take on Australia in the final in Perth next month.
"Of course France has a chance! From the moment the girls are in the final, it is because they have been able to go for big wins and especially to have an excellent team spirit [...] On paper, obviously, when we have a player who has won a Grand Slam (the 2019 Roland Garros champion and World No.1 Ashleigh Barty) and is in the top 3, she will necessarily win a lot of points, especially that in addition to play at home.
" Finally, on the recent comebacks of Kim Clijsters and Tatiana Golovin, Bartoli says Clijsters has the ablity to get back to the Top 10 whereas Golovin will have a much more difficult time since she is allowed only limited number of wild cards.
"For me, Kim has ample means to return to the top 10 and win a new Grand Slam. Tatiana, if she returns in the top 30, it will be a victory for her already. But it will be much more difficult, it's huge to stop eleven years, she played very little during this period.
She had to deal with her injury, she had two children and she is only allowed three wild cards per year. She'll have to go back to all Challengers tournaments."