Bartoli is back

Published by Matt Trollope

Marion Bartoli seen competing in Toronto in 2013, one of the last tournaments she played before announcing her retirement from tennis; Getty Images
Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli has announced she is making a comeback to tennis – and aims to return at the Miami Open in March.

Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli has announced her plans to make a comeback to professional tennis.

The 2013 Wimbledon champion tearfully retired just a few weeks after that Grand Slam triumph following a loss in Cincinnati, citing chronic injury.

And after a tumultuous few years away from the game, she’ll target the Miami Open in March for her return.

“I’m coming back!” she declared in a video on her social media channels.

“It’s gonna be a huge challenge – I still have a lot of practice ahead of me.

“I’m really looking forward to being on the court again, in front of you, to feel your support. Especially in Paris, of course in Roland Garros, in my home country, but also for the Fed Cup, and Wimbledon.

“I’m so looking forward to it.”

Wimbledon has always been Bartoli’s happiest hunting ground; it was the site of her first major final in 2007, before she went all the way to the title six years later.

But she was also adept on clay, advancing to the semifinals at Roland Garros in 2011. She reached at least the quarterfinals of all four Grand Slam tournaments, and peaked at world No.7 in 2012.

She won eight career titles, the biggest behind Wimbledon being Eastbourne in 2011 and Stanford in 2009. She also reached the Indian Wells final in 2011.

Her reference to the Fed Cup certainly raises an eyebrow; Bartoli had a chequered relationship with her compatriots and did not take part in the team competition for almost a decade.

And in her retirement, there was more upheaval.

She suffered dramatic weight loss in 2016 and revealed she was suffering from a virus. During that interview she said she coudl only eat organic salad and peeled cucumber, washed using mineral water and wore gloves to handle her mobile phone.

“I fear for my life, I’m afraid one day my heart will stop,” she said. “I am wasting away and I don’t know why.”

Four months later, she competed in the New York Marathon.

Bartoli is the latest among a list of high-profile women – other being Martina Hingis, Kim Clijsters, Justine Henin, Kimiko Date-Krumm and Patty Schnyder – who have retired from the sport, only to return.

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