The eccentric figure of Marion Bartoli will play in the women's final on Saturday after demolishing Kirsten Flipkens 6-1, 6-2.
Women's matches of three sets can sometimes fly by and this was one of them: all over in 62 minutes.
Bartoli is noted for her double-fisted forehand, slinging serve and shadow play in between points. She is playing these days without her father, who once gave up his career as a doctor to coach her – and suffered the indignation two Wimbledons ago of being banished from the court because he was upsetting her. He would have been proud of yesterday’s performance.
Flipkens had caused a minor sensation on Tuesday by knocking out the fourth seed Petra Kvitova but she never got going, being broken in the second and sixth game as the first set disappeared in 27 minutes.
She called for the trainer for treatment to an already bandaged knee after going 3-0 down in the second set but could do little more than maintain some respect by winning a couple of games before Bartoli rounded things off with a winning smash.
“I played so well and was feeling so great,” the Frenchwoman said. “I saw the ball like a football and was hitting it really well. Everything was just working so positively.”
Bartoli revealed later that he had slept from midday until half an hour before the start of the match at 1pm. "I was maybe a bit tired and needed a quick nap to recover," she said. "So far it's working extremely well so I don't see why I should change."
Speaking of her last appearance in the final, when Venus Williams beat her in 2007, she recalled: "The last time I was so young. I was every time the underdog. I was this time the highest ranked player." Her father, she confirmed, will at least be allowed to watch the final.
A disappointed Flipkens felt that injury had handicapped here: "I'm not going to use it as an excuse, Marion played an amazing, good match, but I fell in the first set. Straightaway I didn't feel anything, but I fell on my bad knee. A couple of games later I started to feel a really sharp pain like I had four weeks ago. It definitely needs a rest."