Wimbledon winner Marion Bartoli announced her retirement Wednesday night after her latest loss in the Western & Southern Open. Her tearful announcement came a mere six weeks after Bartoli pushed through injury to win the only major of her career. She was quoted by ESPN as saying that win took out “the last little bit left inside” of her.
“My body was really starting to fall apart, and I was able to keep it together, and go through the pain,” Bartoli told Fox Sports. “I’ve been playing for a long, long, long time now and it’s time. It is.” The three-set loss to Simona Halep was the tipping point, with pain in her back, hip, shoulder and Achilles tendon at the end of the match.
According to BBC Sport, Bartoli played in 47 majors before winning her first one. That is the longest drought in the history of women’s tennis. But her body just would not cooperate anymore. “I have pain after 45 minutes or an hour of play,” she said. “Body-wise, I just can’t do this anymore.”
Bartoli was ranked number 15 in the world at the time of her triumph at the All England Club. The win at the storied courts pushed her ranking back up to seventh, where she started the season. But Bartoli just could not summon up the same resolve after this latest loss.
“You know, everyone will remember my Wimbledon title. No one will remember the last match I played here,” Bartoli said to reporters. “I made my dream a reality and it will stay forever with me, but now my body just can’t cope with everything.”
WTA chairperson and CEO Stacey Allaster offered nothing but praise for the Wimbledon champ. “She is an inspirational champion and a great ambassador for women’s tennis.” Allaster went on to say how proud she was of the values Bartoli stood for and how she fought for her dream to win Wimbledon.