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Bernard Tomic's fathers late night scuffle leads to Marion Bartoli's big opportunity

What began as a late-night scuffle between the father of Australian star Bernard Tomic and his son's hitting partner outside a Madrid hotel, could end with Marion Bartoli winning the Wimbledon title.

When John Tomic was accused of attacking Thomas Drouet in the Spanish capital in May, the French coach left the Australian's camp and began working with Bartoli alongside her father, and full-time coach, Walter. But Bartoli has opted to compete at Wimbledon, where she was runner-up to Venus Williams in 2007, without her father at her side, preferring instead the input of 2006 Wimbledon champion and compatriot, Amelie Mauresmo and Drouet.

"I have known her since we were young but she always surprises me with her mental qualities every day, her seriousness, her professionalism," said Drouet.

"In every match, she puts into practice everything we have done in training."

In today'ss semi-final, Bartoli will face 27-year-old Belgian, Kirsten Flipkens, who will be playing in her maiden last-four at a major. Mauresmo, the former world number one and the last Frenchwoman to win a Grand Slam title when she triumphed at the All England Club seven years ago, said Bartoli has all the weapons to make Saturday's final.

"We knew since Monday (after Serena Williams had followed Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka out of the tournament) that the draw was open," said Mauresmo.

Belfast Telegraph