(Bartoli waited a lifetime. For a moment. LIKE THIIIIIS!)
In 2007's Wimby Tournament, Marion Bartoli lost the Final to Venus Williams 6-4, 6-1. She wouldn't reach another Major Final until Wimby again in 2013. Six years later, she holds the Venus Rosewater dish as Wimbledon Champion, beating Sabine Lisicki 6-1, 6-4.
Bartoli was a bit of an underdog in the final (if you can pick an actual underdog in a final with both players not even seeded in the Top 10) because Sabine Lisicki had been giant-slaying for several rounds, taking out Serena Williams and Radwanska. But Bartoli completely dismissed Flipkens in her own Semi, and had the experience of that previous Wimbledon Final against Venus. That proved to be invaluable, as Lisicki crumbled under the pressure of the moment, while Bartoli played loose, incredibly aggressive tennis the whole match. She bulldozed through the first set and raced to a huge lead in the second. Lisicki finally gathered herself in the second, getting back to 5-4, but it was too much distance to make up and Bartoli (in a state of disbelief) won the match at 6-4. Bartoli didn't drop a set during the tournament, and because of the weird upsets early on, never had to face a player in the ranked in the Top 10 the whole way through!
"I dreamed about this moment for so long," Bartoli said afterwards during her on-court interview. "I was there in 2007 and I missed it. I know how it feels, Sabine, and I'm sure you will be there one more time. I have no doubt about it."
In truth, I think Lisicki will have another chance at the Wimby Final in her career. She's a really great grass court player, and the nerves won't get to her again like they did on this occasion. She should take comfort in the second chance Bartoli made for herself. I'm really thrilled for Bartoli in winning this year. I love seeing these veteran women players finally getting their first Major Championship wins late in their careers. Schiavone and Li at the French, and now Bartoli here. It's a well deserved reward for staying committed and continuing to fight on, even if the sport has been dominated by other players like Serena or Vika or Maria. You just keep fighting one match at a time and eventually you just might have that trophy in your hands for a day, and the title "Wimbledon Champion" attached to your name forever.