Reigning Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli has been announced as the latest player to join the line-up at this year’s Liverpool Hope University International Tennis Tournament.
The feisty Frenchwoman, who is as known off the court as she is on both for her fashion sense and wide ranging interests, will join Greg Rusedski and Virginia Wade to headline the tournament in June at the Liverpool Cricket Club.
Bartoli, who is renowned for her unusual playing style, beat German Sabine Lisicki 6-1, 6-4 in the 2013 Wimbledon final – a victory that saw her rise to number seven in the world and become only the sixth player in the Open era to win a Wimbledon title without dropping a set.
The 29-year-old’s relatively short career has also seen her reach the semi-final at the 2011 French Open, and earn seven Women’s Tennis Association singles wins, defeating three reigning world number one players. Among the opponents she has defeated are Venus and Serena Williams, Lindsay Davenport and Caroline Wozniacki. “I am extremely excited to be part of this year’s impressive line-up at the Liverpool Hope University International Tennis Tournament ,” said Marion. “I am a big football fan so I am excited about visiting Liverpool for the first time and meeting some true Liverpudlians – hopefully I will have time to visit Anfield and Goodison!
“The event has a great reputation and I am excited to be a part of it this year and to be back playing on grass.”
The Liverpool Hope University International Tennis Festival has thrived since 2002 and is now Europe’s largest tennis exhibition. This year Bartoli and her rival competitors will compete in a purpose built centre court stadium at LCC in Aigburth.
Tournament Director Anders Borg says: “We have been fortunate to boast some fantastic players in the past, but this year’s line-up is the best yet. It is the first time that a current Wimbledon champion has been involved with the tournament and we couldn’t be happier to have been able to bring Marion to this year’s event.
“It is fitting that this should happen this year, as our partnership with the International Festival for Business looks set to attract new and diverse audiences to the tournament. The standard of the players involved in the 2014 festival will really put us on the map with tennis fans.”
The tournament, sponsored by Liverpool City Council and Liverpool Hope University, is currently in its 13th year and has become one of the most popular sporting events in the North West. The 2014 festival is expected to attract a record-breaking number of spectators.