Photo: Paul ZimmerMarion Bartoli (FRA)
Talk about going out on a high. Just over a month after winning her first Grand Slam singles title at 2013 Wimbledon, Marion Bartoli stunned the tennis world by announcing her retirement after falling to a second round loss against Simona Halep at Cincinnati on Wednesday.
The charismatic Frenchwoman, who capped her career with the Wimbledon title last month, left the media attending her press conference at the Western and Southern Open in a state of shock when she said: “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.”
Bartoli, who will turn 29 in October, attributed injuries for her sudden decision to quit the game that has been part of her life ever since she competed on the ITF Juniors circuit 13 years ago.
“My body just can’t do it anymore,” she explained. “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.”
Without doubt the Frenchwoman will be remembered for her Wimbledon triumph this year. Six years after falling to Venus Williams in the final at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, Bartoli broke through to win her first major by defeating Sabine Lisicki.
Bartoli will retire having won just over $11million throughout her career, in which she won eight singles titles and three doubles titles.
This year, she was welcomed back to the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas fold when the newly-appointed French captain Amelie Mauresmo lured her back following a nine-year hiatus from the national team.
Bartoli attended the 2014 Fed Cup draw, which took place during the ITF’s Centenary AGM in Paris last month, and even days before her announcement she gave no indication that she was nearing the end of her career.