Bartoli under fire for doubles comments: ‘They don’t make the same effort’

andrewhendrie in News 29 May 2020
Bartoli Doubles
Marion Bartoli (Photo by Nasser Berzane/ABACAPRESS.COM)

Former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli has come under fire for controversial comments surrounding doubles players, declaring some of their prize-money should be issued to lower-ranked singles players.

Speaking on the show ‘Match Points’, Bartoli was asked on how tennis can filter more money to lower-ranked singles players who are struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Bartoli’s solution involves scrapping some doubles prize money, saying she ‘doesn’t understand’ why doubles tournaments are staged outside of the slams and Olympics.

“I know I’m not going to make myself fans but I think we have to say it,” said Bartoli. “I just don’t understand all those doubles competitions year-round.

“I understand during the Grand Slams and the Olympics because they are part of tennis history and everything. I’ve been to some tournaments now with my player and I see they have crews–six people around them.”

Bartoli continued to degrade doubles players, stating they ‘don’t make the same effort’ as singles competitors.

“Even a singles player, when I used to play we couldn’t afford to play six people to travel with us full-time and they can afford to pay six people and they just play doubles,” she said. “Why don’t you get some of that money to the qualifier players, or to someone who is playing only the challengers?

“I just don’t understand because doubles you just don’t make the same effort as a singles player. You don’t practice so much, your routine is different, and they keep going week-in and week-out and getting that money when actually the other ones playing challengers are really struggling. I don’t know if we have to stop doubles completely or entirely, but to get less money and to give that money towards qualification and the other player I think should be a solution as well.”

Unsurprisingly, doubles stars have responded to Bartoli on social media, including Grand Slam champions Nicolas Mahut and Gabriela Dabrowksi.

Both players whole-heartedly rejected Bartoli’s declaration that six people travelled with doubles players, with Dabrowski releasing a lengthy thread on Twitter.

“NO ONE that plays only doubles travels with a team of 6 people,” she wrote. “Not one player. Some tennis federations might send a team of people to work with ALL their players, but I don’t know one doubles player who travels with more than one or two people maximum, and even that is usually periodically. In reality we usually share a coach with another player or multiple players… wanna know why? BECAUSE DOUBLES PLAYERS CANT AFFORD A FULL TIME TEAM. WE WOULD LITERALLY BE BLEEDING MONEY EVERY WEEK IF WE HAD ONE.”

Bartoli proceeded to defend herself on Twitter, doubling down on her stance.

“I don’t have the perfect solution, I am just trying to find solution,” she replied to Dabrowski. “But if you blame me for caring for single players outside the top 100, so be it!! I don’t think I am wrong by doing that!!”