Saturday, April 11, 2009
The doctor is in--all the time
An ESPN commentator calls Walter Bartoli the "mad scientist"of the tour because of the unusual drills he creates for his daughter, Marion. My instinct tells me that at least some of these drills are quite helpful. The problem is that Marion Bartoli must put in so many long hours--sometimes right before a match--executing them. More than once, it has occurred to me that these arduous drills could be related to Bartoli's tendency to get injured several times a year.
Today, at the Family Circle Cup, we watched Bartoli and Vera Zvonareva hit in a very long practice session in the stadium. Zvonareva's coach, Sam Sumyk, stood at the edge of the court and watched. In contrast, Walter Bartoli made copious notes, and constantly walked over to his daughter to give her advice. At one point, during a break, he acted out an entire rally, stepping and stretching and shifting, and talking excitedly the entire time. Marion took off her sock, and I was hoping she would stuff it in his mouth. Bartoli's micro-management of his daughter is way over the top, and was uncomfortable to watch.