Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli announces retirement - just six weeks after victory in SW19

French player blames succession of injuries for her decision

Marion Bartoli has announced her retirement from tennis at the age of 28 - less than six weeks after winning Wimbledon.

The Frenchwoman made the announcement after losing 3-6 6-4 6-1 to Simona Halep in the second round of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.

Bartoli, who beat Sabine Lisicki in the final at the All England Club last month to claim her first grand slam title, said in quotes reported on wtatennis.com: "That was actually the last match of my career. Sorry.

"It's time for me to retire and call it a career. I feel it's time for me to walk away actually."

Bartoli blamed a succession of injuries for her decision to call it a day - citing in particular an Achilles problem which was troubling her on the hardcourts.

"My body just can't do it anymore," she said. "I've already been through a lot of injuries since the beginning of the year. I've been on the tour for so long, and I really pushed through and left it all during that Wimbledon.

"I really felt I gave all the energy I have left in my body. I made my dream a reality and it will stay with me forever, but now my body just can't cope with everything.

"I have pain everywhere after 45 minutes or an hour of play. I've been doing this for so long, and body-wise I just can't do it anymore."

Bartoli said she had played through the pain to realise her childhood dream of winning Wimbledon this summer.

She said: "When you dream about something for so long and you've been on tour for many, many, many years and you've been through ups and downs and highs and lows and already a lot of injuries since the beginning of the year, my body was really starting to fall apart, and I was able to keep it together, go through a lot of pain throughout Wimbledon, and still make it happen.

"That was probably the last little bit of something that was left inside me."

Asked what she plans to do next, she said: "There are so many things to do in life rather than playing tennis, so I'm sure I'll find something. I just need a bit of time to settle down.

"There is some excitement as a tennis player. There is a lot of excitement as a woman. There is a lot of excitement as a wife. There is a lot of excitement as a mother. There is a lot of excitement to come up.

"Obviously I'm excited to live my future, but I will have time to think about it in the months, years to come."

France's Marion Bartoli during the Champions Ball at the Intercontinental Hotel, London France's Marion Bartoli during the Champions Ball at the Intercontinental Hotel, London  

Bartoli was introduced to the sport by her father Walter, who remained as her coach for almost her entire career, giving up his job as a doctor to do so.

Noted for her individual style, she won the junior US Open title in 2001 and broke into the WTA top 100 two years later.

She won her first senior title in 2006 in Auckland and cracked the top 10 the following year.

In 2011 she reached the semi-finals of the French Open, but it was this summer - when she claimed the Wimbledon title without dropping a set - that she achieved her crowning glory.

She also achieved a record in doing so, winning her first grand slam title at the 47th attempt - surpassing the previous high of 45, set by Jana Novotna.

 

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