Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli in shock retirement
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French tennis star Marion Bartoli announced her shock retirement at the age of 28 on Wednesday, just weeks after winning Wimbledon. A tearful Bartoli cited a string of injuries and said she was quitting tennis with immediate effect.
Bartoli, citing a string of injuries, dropped the bombshell shortly after losing in the second round of the Cincinnati Masters to Romania’s Simona Halep.
The top French star suffered a stunning 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 defeat to Halep.
“It’s time for me to retire and to call it a career. I feel it’s time for me to walk away actually,” said the 28-year-old.
The announcement comes two weeks before Bartoli was scheduled to compete in the US Open in New York.
Seeded eighth at the Cincinnati event, Bartoli said Wimbledon helped her reach the top of her game but also took a toll on her physical and mental wellbeing.
“I’ve been a tennis player for a long time, and I had the chance to make my biggest dream a reality,” said Bartoli, who won over $11 million in prize money during her 13-year career.
“I felt I really, really pushed through the ultimate limits to make it happen. But now I just can’t do it anymore,” she said.
“I’ve been through a lot of injuries since the beginning of the year. I really pushed through and left it all during that Wimbledon,” she added.
“I really felt I gave all the energy I have left inside my body. It (Wimbledon) will stay forever with me, but now my body just can’t cope with everything.”
Bartoli, ranked seventh in the world, has battled a series of injuries over the past few years. She has played just three matches since winning Wimbledon and after withdrawing from several hardcourt events in July due to abdominal muscle injuries.
She won a match last week in Toronto over American Lauren Davis but lost to 33rd-ranked Magdalena Rybarikova the next day.
“I have pain everywhere after 45 minutes or an hour of play,” Bartoli said. “I’ve been doing this for so long. And, yeah, it’s just body wise I just can’t do it anymore.”
Bartoli, who turned pro in 2000, has been coached most of her career by her father, Walter, who is a doctor.
Besides Wimbledon, Bartoli won seven other WTA Tour titles, beginning with Auckland in 2006. Her most recent, prior to Wimbledon, were both in 2011 at Eastbourne and Osaka, Japan.
“It’s been a tough decision to take, I don’t take this easily,” she said.
Bartoli said simply walking was now difficult for her, adding that her hips and lower back also bothered her almost constantly.
“My Achilles is hurting me a lot, so I can’t really walk normally after a match like that, especially on the hard court when the surface is so hard,” she said.
“And my shoulder and my hips and my lower back. My body is just done.”
The player known for her quirky mannerisms and non-stop fidjeting on the court, said she spoke to her father by phone about 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,” she said.
“He is proud of me. He is proud of what I did and he kind of knew I just couldn’t do it anymore. He kind of felt it.”
Bartoli didn’t say what she plans to do next but insists this is the right time to move on.
“I’m sure I will find something. I just need a bit of time to kind of settle down,” said Bartoli.
“It’s fine. I have the right to do something else as well. I’ve been playing for a long, long time, and it’s time for me now. It is.”