Self / 08.07.2015

Marion Bartoli: My happiness rules

By Roisin Dervish-O'Kane
From Monet to Frozen Yoghurt - here's what keeps the tennis champ-turned jewellery designer smiling


It was 2013 when Marion Bartoli smashed her way through the Wimbledon women’s final. While most of the commentary centered on her powerful, baseline-led play, it was BBC pundit John Inverdale’s comments, that Bartoli ‘was never going to be a looker’, that grabbed headlines. Thankfully, he’s no longer hosting the Wimbledon coverage.

Multiple injuries forced Bartoli to bow out of professional tennis in August 2013 – just 40 days after ‘achieving my dream’ of winning Wimbledon. But even in retirement, she’s still building on her champion success; this time, by pursuing another passion and launching her own jewellery collection.

The capsule’s core pieces are distinctive gold bangles and rings adorned with positive affirmations such as Courage and Strength – and have won big hitting fans in the tennis world, including the unstoppable Serena Williams.

Read more: How to up your tennis game

But what keeps the 30-year-old smiling every day? We grabbed five minutes with her to find out.

Find your purpose
I don’t look for success. Instead, I am trying to have a purpose in my life, to help and inspire other women and girls around the world to go for their dreams. I want to really feel like I have made a difference.

Do what you love
I always loved arts and crafts, ever since I was little and I used to make rings and necklaces and bracelets for my mother. In every tennis match, I always wear a piece of jewellery that is a lucky charm to me. The day I won Wimbledon 2013 I wore a prayer bracelet with a J and an S on it for Joy and Serenity. I would touch the bracelet for serenity before a big point.

Read more: How to get in touch with your spiritual side

Find your calm
Painting was a big stress reliever for me, so I always travelled with my paints. It helped me to recharge my batteries off the court, and I’d think a lot more clearly when I was on. Monet is my favourite painter, and the dark green, purple, and blue in my collection is inspired by his garden, where I first started to sketch my jewellery range.

Focus on the highs
I’ve had two career highlights. The first was of course winning Wimbledon, and the second was having my first article as a jewellery designer printed in Vogue.

Silence critics with strength
If someone criticises your appearance, the best thing you can do is ignore it and remember that real inside beauty is more important. There’s a lot of pressure on women, especially in sport. My message to all of them is: strong is beautiful. That’s in the DNA of my brand, too.

Move your body
I do a lot of yoga and pilates which are great for my posture and keeping me flexible. I also do lots of lunges and other bodyweight exercises for toning.

Don’t forget to play
There will be no big comeback to tennis for me. My life is now in fashion as a designer, but I still play for fun. I love the game and have a blast every time I get on the court.

Feed your body good stuff
There is always a lot of Mediterranean food on my plate. I’m from Corsica, so I love my olive oil, avocado , grilled fish and vegetables. But on the weekend I cook some great brunches to enjoy with friends, and treat myself with frozen yoghurt. I love it so much that I made my own, really healthy one called Sweet Marion.

All this summer on healthy, our mission is Project Happiness. Tweet, Instagram or Facebook us your feel-good tips and tricks.

Marion was speaking during the launch of her collection, in association with activewear brand Fabletics.

Photography: Charlotte Fielding

Marion Bartoli: My happiness rules
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Marion Bartoli: My happiness rules
What keeps 30-year-old former Wimbledon tennis champion Marion Bartoli smiling every day? We grabbed five minutes with her to find out.
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