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Bartoli aims to heal rift with French federation

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Originally published on: 31/05/12 00:00

Bartoli is to meet Jean Gachassin, the president of the French Tennis Federation, in an attempt to heal the rift that has proved so costly both to the player and the national governing body.

France’s leading woman player has not represented her country in the Fed Cup for eight years because her father and coach, Walter, is not allowed to work with her during the national team’s matches. Players must be in good standing with their national federations in order to play in the Olympic tournament, which is why Bartoli will not play in the Games this summer.

Because of their current dearth of singles players, Bartoli’s absence is likely to mean that France will not be represented in the women’s competition at the Olympics. Players need to be ranked in the world’s top 56 to gain direct entry into the Olympic tournament and Bartoli is likely to be the only Frenchwoman in that category by the cut-off date at the end of the French Open.

Pauline Parmentier (world No.62) and Alize Cornet (No.68), the next two French players in the rankings, had both hoped to get into the top 56 but suffered first-round defeats at Roland Garros, dashing their chances.

After her own defeat in Paris to Petra Martic, Bartoli talked of her desire to have “healthy and positive relationships” with the French federation. She added: “Jean was kind, he was sympathising with me.  He supported me on a number of matches, even today. So I think it was really kind. That's what I mean – starting with good relationships with him. Then we'll talk about the future.”

Nevertheless, Bartoli refused to say whether she expected to return to France’s Fed Cup team. “It’s a good thing if we can meet so that we can clarify things and start again anew,” she said. “But it's difficult for me to make any projections on this.”

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