Bartoli & Lisicki: Back On Centre Court
Published June 25, 2014 12:12
Lisicki, who reached her first Grand Slam final here last year, was opening play on Centre Court on Tuesday in place of last year's champion, Bartoli, who is now in retirement. But before the match began, Bartoli made a return to the court - this time holding hands with a young girl, Elle Robus-Miller, a nine-year-old from the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis. They were there to help with the coin toss for the match, as well as celebrate the life of the late Baltacha, who passed away earlier this year from liver cancer. Her longtime coach and husband, Nino Severino, watched from the stands.
"I think it was a very nice gesture that Marion came out with the little child in memory of Elena Baltacha," Lisicki would say afterwards. "I think that was a very nice thing to do.
"I think that moment made it even more special today."
Lisicki proceeded to win her first round match against Julia Glushko in 57 minutes, 6-2, 6-1.
"This is a place that means so much to me," Lisicki said of Centre Court, where she not only played last year's final, but also countless matches over the years at her favorite - and very best - tournament.
"I don't know what it is, but it has just always been such a special place to me. Since I was growing up, it just gets every inch out of me, every piece of energy - it just gets the best out of me.
"I think it does something magical to me when I come back here."
Rally For Bally, which is raising money for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and The Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis, has a strong presence at Wimbledon this year - Rally For Bally wristbands are being sold at programme booths around the grounds. You can also donate by clicking here.