The BBC has apologised after one of its most high-profile presenters made a derogatory remark about the new Wimbledon women’s singles champion. Following Bartoli’s straight sets victory over the German Sabine Lisicki, John Inverdale asked BBC Radio 5 Live listeners: “Do you think Bartoli’s dad told her when she was little 'You’re never going to be a looker? You’ll never be a Sharapova, so you have to be scrappy and fight.’”
Bartoli, whose passionate determination – exemplified by her repeated fist pumping – gained her the admiration of Centre Court, won her first Grand Slam title 6-1, 6-4.
At one stage during the second set Bartoli’s unrelenting focus and powerful hitting reduced her 23-year-old opponent to tears.
Once a stunned Lisicki, the 15th seed, rose to her feet, Bartoli celebrated becoming the first Frenchwoman in seven years to win at SW19 by climbing up to the players’ box to embrace family and friends.
But in the commentating box Inverdale appeared determined not to join in the general admiration of the new champion.