• Tennis

Tearful Wimbledon champion Bartoli calls time

ESPN staff
August 16, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Bartoli calls time

Forty days after winning her first grand slam at Wimbledon, Marion Bartoli announced she was retiring with immediate effect because of persistent injuries which have dogged her career.

A tearful Bartoli, 28, made the announcement at a press conference after her defeat at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati. "It's time for me to retire and to call it a career," she said. "I feel it's time for me to walk away."

"My body was really starting to fall apart and I was able to keep it together, go through the pain - with a lot of pain - throughout this Wimbledon and make it happen. That was probably the last little bit of something that was left inside me.

"I've been playing for a long, long, long time, and it's time for me now. It is.

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

Bartoli has been hampered by an injured left foot, right ankle, right hamstring and Achilles tendon injury. She said every part of her body hurt while she was on the court Wednesday, and it's been like that for some time.

She reached a career-high ranking of No. 7 at the start of the 2012 season, but a Grand Slam title eluded her. Bartoli finally won at Wimbledon in her 47th Grand Slam tournament, the most by any woman before winning one. After that title, her ranking moved back to No. 7.

Once the joy of that moment left, the pain returned and she found herself considering the end of her career. Her rough night on the court Wednesday convinced her that she had nothing left, with her Achilles, hip, shoulder and back aching.

She decided to retire without fanfare or second-guesses. "You know, everyone will remember my Wimbledon title," she said. "No one will remember the last match I played here. It's been a tough decision to take. I don't take this easily. I mean, I've been a tennis player for a long time and I had a chance to make my biggest dream a reality. I felt I really, really pushed through the ultimate limits to make it happen. But now I just can't do it anymore."

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