Marion Bartoli and Sania Mirza catch up in Dubai

It was a meeting of hearts when former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli appeared at Sania Mirza’s residence in Dubai for dinner.

Sania Mirza with Marion Bartoli at the former's residence in Dubai on Wednesday.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

It was a meeting of hearts when former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli appeared at Sania Mirza’s residence in Dubai for dinner.

Bartoli is now settled in Dubai and stays 10 minutes away from Sania’s house. “I have known Marion from the junior days and she has been an amazing champion. It’s wonderful that we are neighbours now,” says Sania, who is taking a break from tennis due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recently, she was part of the Indian team for the Billie Jean King Cup World Group play-offs against Latvia which India lost 1-3.

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Sania and Bartoli have been friends since 2005 when the French star played in the WTA Open in Hyderabad. The Indian was named newcomer of the year in the same year.

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The 2013 Wimbledon champion has been mentoring Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia in recent times.

“She is an old friend of Sania and the two have a wonderful chemistry as they know each other for close to two decades,” said Imran Mirza, Sania’s father.

“It is always a nice feeling for Sania to see someone who has a similar wavelength on many subjects relating to the sport and more importantly the two share mutual respect,” he said.