What is a tennis player to do when things aren’t going their way during one of the most important matches of their life? You could always go John McEnroe and smash a racquet, swear at the official, and boost ratings. Or you could just throw your parents out of the court and continue to battle. The latter seems more sensible, right?
Marion Bartoli, who has an extremely close coaching relationship with her father, Walter, did just that when she found herself trailing in her final set against Flavia Pennetta on Saturday. Bartoli’s emotions got the best of her when she went down 3-4 against Pennetta so she demanded that Walter and her mother Sophie leave the court for the remainder of the match. She fought back and won the match, so apparently her decision was a wise one.
“I don’t remember exactly what I said but I think it was really clear,” Bartoli explained following the win. “I just had to let go my frustrations and express myself in some way. I could have done something else stupid, but whatever.” She also compared tossing her parents to releasing frustration by breaking a racquet.
“I was so tired and exhausted that really I had to express my emotions somehow,” she said. “I saw them right after the match, my parents, and they understood completely. It was not against them. It was just that we played a very long first set, and I was exhausted and I was tired and I was feeling worse and worse.”
The win over Pennetta means Bartoli will take on Serena Williams in the fourth round. Perhaps the rents should stay home and catch the match on TV.