Marion Bartoli is finally a champion at Wimbledon.
The 28-year-old was the runner-up at the All England Club in 2007, losing to Venus Williams in straight sets. She didn't drop a set at the Grand Slam tournament in 2013, culminating with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Sabine Lisicki in the final on Saturday.
Wimbledon's official account posted the news as Bartoli's service ace gave her the victory and a place in tournament lore:
ESPN Tennis had this tweet as Bartoli addressed the Centre Court crowd following her first career Grand Slam victory:
Bartoli was the No. 15 seed in the women's side of the draw, and as noted by ESPN's Stats & Info, she is now also the first Wimbledon champion to win without dropping a set since 2010:
It's been an odd year so far at Wimbledon, with many of the game's top men and women bowing out early. Very few (if any) predicted a Bartoli/Lisicki final on the last day of women's action.
But that's the way things shook out in London this year, and a combination of Bartoli's power game and Lisicki's fear of the moment led to a straight-set victory for a woman many had written off since her surprise title appearance in '07.
Now that three women's 2013 Grand Slam titles are officially in the books and the men's title (Novak Djokovic vs. Andy Murray on Sunday) will soon follow, let's take a look at the biggest takeaways from the women's action on Saturday.
Unforced Errors Doomed Lisicki
Sabine Lisicki is a better player than she showed us on Saturday.
The 23-year-old German starlet was making her first career appearance in a Grand Slam final this year, and that pressure clearly overwhelmed her at various points during the match.
Early in the match, Live Tennis had this tweet about Lisicki's early struggles:
Her game was not tight, and she struggled to find the right placement on the court to counteract Bartoli's power game. Lisicki lost the first set 1-6 and found herself in a 1-5 hole with the match on the line in the second set.
To her credit, Lisicki wore her heart on her sleeve the entire match. Noticeably flustered and disappointed with the first half of the match, she fought back tears at one point before realizing she had a match to complete.
We saw a brief glimpse of the player who took down Serena Williams over the next three games. She battled back, kept the ball between the lines and forced the over-anxious Bartoli into mistakes as she tried to close out the match.
A comeback was brewing when she pushed the tally to 4-5, but she once again failed to keep the ball in the lines in the final game before Bartoli's service ace ended the match.
Her last game was a microcosm of the overall struggles she faced on Saturday.
As everyone is quick to mention, Lisicki is only 23. She's clearly a Wimbledon star in the making. A win over Williams cemented that, and the fact that she has been to the quarterfinals of this event the last four times she has competed should tell you she's a tough draw for anyone in London.
As Neil Harman of The Times chronicled with this tweet, Bartoli knows that first appearance can be tough:
It isn't easy to perform at the highest level on the biggest stage. Luckily, we'll never have to say "first Grand Slam final" and Lisicki in the same sentence again. If and when she returns to this stage, she'll have the experience of this match to dispatch against any opponent.
Bartoli Plays Her Game
No one will tell Marion Bartoli how to behave on a tennis court.
It was painfully clear during the final that Bartoli's quirkiness and eccentric personality is much more evident on the tennis court than anywhere else.
Quick to pump her fist after nearly every point, Bartoli would also look to the box where her family was sitting each time a shift in momentum was apparent during the match.
As she closed in on a victory, her adrenaline started to assert itself to other ventures besides the matter at hand. Richard K. Herring recognized it, and many watching likely did, too:
Bartoli began practicing her backhand in between points, a superstition of some sorts that didn't quite work. Lisicki won the next three games after Bartoli's outburst of energy, but Bartoli would regain her focus to capture the title up 5-4 in the set.
Already an interesting player because of her two-handed grip on both backhands and forehands, the world got a glimpse at a player who has a style of her own and doesn't care if one or one million people are watching her prepare for the next point.
It clearly works—check out her newest trophy as evidence.
Both Women Have Work to Do
The final was anything but a collection of polished players on Saturday. Lisicki's unforced miscues and Bartoli's inability to close out her opponent in the middle of the second set were dark marks for each performance.
It didn't cost Bartoli, but it doomed Lisicki.
Let's face it—the oddities at Wimbledon helped make this final possible.
Although Lisicki did knock of Williams in impressive fashion, Bartoli's best victory during her tournament run came over Sloane Stephens (17), who was making her first appearance past the fourth round at Wimbledon this year.
Bartoli has improved vastly over the last three years. She reached just one quarterfinal in the three years following her improbable run to the Wimbledon final in 2007, but this year's final at Wimbledon marks her fourth-such appearance since 2011.
Her power game lacks lateral quickness, but she's continually improving and has found ways to beat opponents in unorthodox manners. Dominant at times, a consistent Bartoli would certainly be a top-10-type player at any tournament.
For Lisicki, having more success at other Grand Slams and remembering this event will be key. She's young, talented and has an appearance in a final at age 23; there aren't a lot of 23-year-old tennis players who can boast such a resume at the All England Club.
The Bartoli/Lisicki final capped an interesting slate of action on the women's side this year, and it will also be interesting to see how the momentum of the finalists—and the women who were early upsets—carries over into the U.S. Open later this year.
Follow Bleacher Report FC Ethan Grant (@DowntownEG) on Twitter.
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