- Associated Press - Thursday, June 2, 2011

PARIS (AP) - Marion Bartoli was persona non grata in Paris a month before the French Open.

Things are likely to change after her semifinal run at Roland Garros, which ended with a 6-3, 6-3 loss to defending champion Francesca Schiavone on Thursday.

“The fact that I’m able to play well in France and that I can have the public supporting me, it’s enormous satisfaction,” Bartoli said. “I think that is what I will remember from this tournament.”

Before the tournament, Bartoli was involved in a public spat with Fed Cup captain Nicolas Escude. The dispute, which centered on the independent coaching setup with her father, led to her removal from the team that lost to Spain in the playoffs.

She put those problems behind her at Roland Garros, but was hesitant to say whether this will be a turning point.

“It’s a bit too early to say whether it will be or not,” Bartoli said. “I think I need to use that loss to draw the lessons and improve even more. I think the fact that I went one step further here will help me.”

The 26-year-old Bartoli became only the fourth Frenchwoman to reach the semifinals at Roland Garros in the Open era. And she did it by defeating 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in the quarterfinals on a surface she doesn’t like.

“First, I improved physically, and then I am a lot more confident, or I have been since I have been here, because before this tournament I had many doubts,” said Bartoli, the 2007 Wimbledon runner-up. “I was not sure I was able to play on clay.”

A week before the French Open, Bartoli’s confidence on the surface improved when she reached her first clay-court final in Strasbourg.

“It was very good for my confidence and it helped me in this particular tournament to go one step further,” Bartoli said. “As you get used to the surface point after point. So even if I had tough matches, I played a lot on clay.”

Looking toward Wimbledon, where she lost to Venus Williams in that 2007 final, Bartoli said she will be more confident on grass because of Paris.

“I remember that when I started having good results on grass it was after having good results here, and I hope it’s going to continue that way,” she said.

Her chances of getting back on the Fed Cup team and possibly the 2012 Olympic team are unclear.

“I said I had nothing against the Fed Cup,” said Bartoli, adding she had the support of Jean Gachassin, the president of the French tennis federation.

“Unfortunately, in the French team there are some rules you have to comply with that are not good for me,” Bartoli added. “For the time being, I know I can’t change.”

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