Marion Bartoli insists she will not make retirement U-turn
The Wimbledon champion made the shock announcement amid frustrations with injury
Friday 16 August 2013
Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli insists there is no chance of her going back on the retirement that has shocked tennis.
French player Bartoli landed the first grand slam of her career last month when she beat Sabine Lisicki in London, but rather than chase more titles she has decided to listen to her aching body and step away from the sport.
The announcement came after she lost to Simona Halep in the second round of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, but Bartoli insists it was not a kneejerk reaction to a disappointing defeat.
At the age of 28, she is considering a move into media work, and despite the likes of fellow one-time Wimbledon winner Goran Ivanisevic urging her to think again, Bartoli is adamant her tennis career is over.
"I am always final in my decisions and I don't go back on them," she said, a day on from her decision. "I won't change my mind.
"I've been on the circuit for more than 13 years. Since the start of the year, I have had a lot of small injuries all over: ankle, foot, shoulder.
"I feel I've done everything to win the grand slam. My body simply can't carry on."
Reflecting on her Wimbledon triumph, Bartoli said, according to French sports newspaper L'Equipe: "I spent a lot of time with the physios. I had to overcome great pain in my Achilles tendon and my shoulder. When I got up, I needed 30 minutes before putting my foot on the ground and walking normally.
"I needed to reach my goal and I did it. That's what I will take away."
When she spoke after coming off court against Halep, Bartoli explained how her decision came as no surprise to her father and long-time coach Walter.
The pair memorably embraced after Bartoli triumphed at Wimbledon, with Walter having recently been replaced as his daughter's coach by France's Davis Cup captain Amelie Mauresmo.
Bartoli spoke to her father before putting her retirement on the public record, and said: "My dad knows me enough, he kind of knew it a bit when he saw me leaving home for the States.
"He kind of felt I was tired and I was exhausted, and he was not surprised by the decision.
"He knows, more than anyone, how much I worked and what I did to make it happen, to make my dream a reality.
"He is proud of what I did, very much so, and he kind of knew I just couldn't do it anymore. He kind of felt it.
"I called him after the match and said, 'You know what, Dad, I think it's my last one'.
"And he said, 'I kind of felt it. I kind of knew it somehow. I can see it in your eyes and see your body and see - and know all the work you have done to make it happen. I'm so proud of you. I will support you in anything you're doing'."
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