Dr. Walter’s daughter wins Wimbledon 2013

by Mohan Mali

Marion Bartoli

The trademark Marion Bartoli Serve

As one commentator mentioned “It is a wacky world of Marion she lives in”.

I would say Marion has been living in Dr. Walter’s wacky world for the last many years. As a six year old you start following what your dad and coach tell you. Marion’s dash, in disbelief, to hug her father after her victory at Wimbledon, did not look any different than a six-year-old running into her father’s arms.

For many years, tennis spectators at different tournaments’ practice courts could not resist laughing at Dr. Walters ways of training his daughter. Looking at the straps, springs and thick rubber bands that he utilized, many of the kids in presence of such methods decided never to chance an encounter with this wacky sport. If I ever wanted to deter my children from becoming tennis players, I would have shown them Bartoli’s intense training regime. It never looked fun. Fun to watch… maybe?

People would argue that Bartoli won a Grand Slam Title only after she parted with her father as a coach. The fact remains that he laid the foundation for the hard work and work ethic that Marion followed through her life and career for close to twenty years. She came very close to winning Wimbledon Championship in 2007, when he was still her coach.

It was also good to watch the usually fidgety Dr. Walters sitting calm; clapping, enjoying and witnessing the first grand slam win of Marion. (He used to be so tense that Marion once publicly ordered him to leave the courts.) – The relationship has been widely talked about in tennis circles.

Well, people can talk, argue, laugh or whatever they like and the commentary may go on for some time at least. However, Dr. Walter and his daughter Marion deserve all the respect in the world of sport for achieving the success through self-belief and sheer hard work. Good for Dr. Walters and good for Marion.

There is definitely more than one way to skin a cat.