Welcome to Wimbledon Flashbacks, where wtatennis.com will take a look back at some of the most memorable narratives from The Championships over the past 20 years. After recapping Birmingham's best battles and excellent Eastbourne encounters, our retrospective heads to the lawns of SW19.
For more classic moments, check out our other Wimbledon Flashbacks:
1999: Qualifier Dokic dispatches top seed Hingis in first-round stunner
1999: Stevenson topples Raymond in all-American 1999 thriller
2003: Navratilova shows her class at 46 to win title 20 alongside Paes
2005: Venus, Davenport contest classic clash in enthralling 2005 final
2006: Mauresmo shows her mettle to defeat Henin and win Wimbledon
2009: Safina, Mauresmo christen Centre Court roof with Manic Monday epic
2010: Pironkova overcomes 'impossible,' doubles up on Wimbledon magic
2012: Immaculate Shvedova unlocks historic Golden Set
2013: Lisicki's upset streak peaks during run to 2013 Wimbledon final
2015: Hingis, Mirza dominate at Wimbledon in historic triumph
2017: Returning Rybarikova stuns Pliskova in 2017 Cinderella run
2019: From qualifying to Centre Court, Gauff's star rises at SW19
THE MOMENT: Wimbledon held a unique place in Marion Bartoli's heart. "Wimbledon is so special because of all those traditions," the Frenchwoman said in 2007. "To walk on Centre Court, and to go through this locker room to the Centre Court, see the trophies, and you walk into that court, and you know you're a part of history."
Her strong feelings were evident during her run at The Championships that season, as she pulled off one of the biggest Grand Slam upsets in recent times to announce herself as a major contender.
An incredibly industrious worker off the court, Bartoli had impressed as a junior with her accurate double-handed groundstrokes from both sides, as well as her aggressive service return position from well inside the court.
"When I was younger, still living in France, we didn't have any indoor courts," Bartoli explained. "The indoor courts we had were multi-surface courts. It was the courts for volleyball, basketball, tennis.
"On this court, I didn't have any backgrounds, I couldn't go back," she continued. "The wall was one meter behind the baseline. If I was at least staying on the baseline, my racquet was touching the wall behind me. So I have to stay inside the baseline, take the ball as early as possible, and [hit] the target. I played thousands and thousands of balls like that."
Her unorthodox game and diligent practicing paid off in a huge way in 2001, when she notched a three-set win over Svetlana Kuznetsova in the girls' singles final of the US Open. Now a junior Grand Slam champion, Bartoli had marked herself as an exceptionally talented prospect as she transitioned to the pros.
Bartoli won her first three WTA singles titles in 2006 to propel herself into the Top 20, and by the start of 2007, her inexorable path from junior standout to elite professional was nearly complete.
However, Bartoli was still in search of a deep run at a Grand Slam event at the start of the season -- she had already racked up 20 main-draw showings in majors, but had yet to reach the round of 16 at any of them.
Nevertheless, coming into 2007 Wimbledon, signs were present that Bartoli could make waves at the grass-court Grand Slam. First, the Frenchwoman had at last made the second week at a major just weeks before, on home soil at Roland Garros, where she reached the round of 16.
Bartoli followed that run up with two semifinal showings at the grass-court events in Birmingham and Eastbourne, where she could only be stopped by Grand Slam champions Maria Sharapova and Justine Henin, respectively.
"I think my physical [condition] has improved a lot, and I'm able to compete against the top players for each match, and I think the quality of my game from the baseline has improved a lot, as well as my serve," Bartoli said at the start of the 2007 Wimbledon fortnight. "So, I think everything is coming together and I'm a more complete player all around."
Bartoli was ready for her big breakthrough during those two weeks. Seeded No.18, a fourth-round upset of No.3 seed Jelena Jankovic put Bartoli into her first major quarterfinal, where she came back from a set down and an overnight rain delay to defeat No.31 seed Michaella Krajicek and move into a maiden major semifinal.
Her run would get much tougher in the final four, though, where World No.1 Justine Henin was waiting. Henin had easily beaten Bartoli in the Eastbourne semifinals just before Wimbledon, but the underdog was still optimistic.
"I've been through some big stages already against some big players and in some tough situations, finals of tournaments," Bartoli said after her quarterfinal, looking forward to her first-ever match on Centre Court. "I'm not afraid to play against the big players."
Henin, to be fair, had put together a marvelous 2007. After missing the Australian Open, she won five titles in the first half of the season, including her third straight Roland Garros title. Coming off of a title on the grass of Eastbourne, Henin was primed to make a real run at the one Grand Slam singles title she was missing, after finalist results in 2001 and 2006.
As the first set of the Wimbledon semifinal transpired, it looked for all the world like the No.1 seed was going to cruise into another final at SW19. Firing groundstroke winners from both wings with ease, Henin routinely left Bartoli flummoxed as the Belgian raced through the first set, 6-1, in just 22 minutes.
"The first set, I was quite nervous," Bartoli admitted. "I was not feeling the ball good at all. I was not hitting in good rhythm. My balls were not spinning enough. So I tried to just forget against who I was playing and where I was playing, and just try to play my game the best as possible, just try to forget this first set."
Bartoli's angular aggression, so helpful on grass, started to pull her into the clash in the second set. Despite squandering an early break, the Frenchwoman's hitting began to match Henin's pound for pound, and Bartoli found herself at 5-5 in the second set against the top seed.
Bartoli erased two break points in that game to lead 6-5, and, suddenly, Henin misfired in the next game, handing triple set point to Bartoli after a double fault. On the first set point, Bartoli used a backhand to charge to the net, then polished off the set with a backhand volley and a squeal of delight. At one set apiece, Bartoli was the player with all the momentum.
The Frenchwoman partially attributed her turnaround to a familiar face in the crowd -- James Bond himself helped save the day.
“I saw Pierce Brosnan in the crowd, which is one of my favorite actors,” Bartoli stated. “I said to myself, ‘It's not possible I play so bad in front of him.’”
“So I try to feel it a bit more, the ball, play more smartly,” Bartoli continued. “I saw he was cheering for me, so I said, ‘Oh, maybe it's good.’"
The deciding set broke Bartoli's way from the beginning. She saved break points in her first two service games of the final set, then used typically aggressive returns with more deft net play to earn breaks of the increasingly error-prone Henin on the way to a commanding 5-0 lead.
A service hold by Henin for 5-1 was too little, too late, as an unafraid Bartoli zipped to triple match point in the very next game. On the first match point, Henin sent a service return long, and Bartoli rejoiced as she stunned the tennis world, claiming a spot in her first Grand Slam final with a 1-6, 7-5, 6-1 upset of the top seed in just under two hours.
"Beat the No.1 in the world, Centre Court, almost full, then in the final of a Grand Slam, especially Wimbledon -- if you tell me that before, I couldn't believe you," an ecstatic Bartoli said to the press, after her victory. "I think after this tournament I will realize maybe a little more what I'm doing during this tournament. But right now really I don't realize it."
Though her outstanding play pulled her to a best career result, she graciously gave an assist to her favorite performer. "I kept going and I won, so maybe a little bit for Pierce Brosnan!” said the delighted Wimbledon finalist.
THE MEANING: Bartoli's win over the dominant World No.1 sent shockwaves through the grounds, but, despite her routine loss to Henin at Eastbourne, the underdog always believed that the result had not been preordained.
"Each match is different, especially on grass," Bartoli stated in press, after her upset victory. "The surface is so special. A match can turn very easily. I think I figured out a little bit more the way it's possible to play against her and find a little more gap into her tactic against her and find someplace to play in her game."
"I believed in myself from the first point to the end," Bartoli continued. "You know, on a good day, I can beat everybody, and I proved it today."
The next day, Bartoli faced three-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in the final, and the American superstar was typically brilliant on the day, stopping the Frenchwoman's run in straight sets.
"Venus played some unbelievable tennis," Bartoli said, after the final. "I really tried my best, I think, and I played a great match, but at the end she was just too good. I can't say a player can beat her when she plays like this on grass."
As for Pierce Brosnan, he was unable to return for the final, as he had to attend a wedding that day. "And I lost, you see," Bartoli joked. "But he left me a bouquet of flowers this morning with a letter in my locker room, which I thought was really, really nice," the runner-up smiled.
"I want this title so bad," Bartoli admitted, when looking forward to the rest of her career. "I want it so much. I mean, for me to win this trophy and to hold it in your hands, this is the [best] reward you can ever imagine in tennis."
"Of course, tomorrow I won't be that disappointed because I will realize what I achieved, which is already awesome, of course," Bartoli concluded.
Six years later, Bartoli would find it even more awesome when she indeed accomplished her biggest dream, hoisting the Venus Rosewater Dish as the Wimbledon ladies' singles champion of 2013.