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Thursday, January 19, 2012
Marion Bartoli likely to miss Olympics

Associated Press

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Marion Bartoli says it's unlikely she'll play in the 2012 London Olympics because of a "heartbreaking" dispute with the French tennis federation.

Bartoli is France's top tennis player and is ranked No. 9. But to compete in the Olympics, the International Tennis Federation requires she be on good terms with her national federation and have made herself available to play in the Fed Cup twice in the past four years.

Bartoli has feuded with the French federation over her independent coaching set-up with her father, who has not been allowed to coach during the Fed Cup.

France captain Nicolas Escude left her off the French squad last year, saying the coaching situation made her "totally incompatible" with the team.

Bartoli had hoped for an exception from the ITF, but that's a long shot. Barring that, she admits she has few options. She says she doesn't have time to take her case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

"It's really heartbreaking for me," she said after her 6-3, 6-2 victory over Jelena Dokic in the second round of the Australian Open. "Honestly, I really do feel I have a chance to make a medal over there and especially at Wimbledon, on grass, where I had so much success in the past, and can't go there just for some stupid reason."

Bartoli reached the Wimbledon final in 2007, losing to Venus Williams.

"That's a subject that I'm trying to avoid to speak about because just all the time, makes me really in a bad mood," she said.