After falling to Romania’s Simona Halep in three sets in the second round of this week’s Cincinnati Masters, Marion Bartoli has retired from the game of tennis.
In a shocking move, the 28-year-old Frenchwoman has decided to call it a career, just weeks after winning at Wimbledon.
“I felt I really, really pushed through the ultimate limits to make it happen. But now I just can't do it anymore,” Bartoli told the media at her emotional press conference where she announced her decision. “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.
“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.”
Last week at the Rogers Cup in Toronto, Marion Bartoli pulled out of her third-round matchup with Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova due to injury. While it was surprising to see the 28-year-old withdraw from the tournament, it was clear that something wasn’t quite right during her match against the Slovakian. Of course, in all fairness, every player has gone through a share of unpleasantness during their respective tenures so, with that said, Bartoli’s decision last week to pull out may have been disappointed but, at that point, it was nothing to put much stock into. Then came this week’s decision.
While she entered the 2012 season with a No. 7 ranking, Marion Bartoli did not have a Grand Slam win to her record. That is, until, the All-England Club: her 47th-career Grand Slam tournament.
At Wimbledon, Bartoli was able to put her injuries aside and make a glorious run to win her long-awaited first Grand Slam title. But when the joy from her win in England faded, the pain returned as Bartoli and that was especially evident on Wednesday night when the Frenchwoman’s Achilles, hip, shoulder and back were all aching. At that point, enough was enough as Bartoli was convinced that she had reached her limit.
"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.”
Bartoli, who had tears running down her cheeks during her announcement, was able to put a positive spin on the end of her career.
"You know, everyone will remember my Wimbledon title," she said. "No one will remember the last match I played here.”
Marion Bartoli’s decision to leave has left many thinking the world of what the 28-year-old has accomplished, including WTA Chairman and CEO Stacey Allaster.
"She is an inspirational champion and a great ambassador for women's tennis that has dedicated her life to the sport and given so much back to the game," Allaster said. "Fans and everyone at the WTA will surely miss Marion's energy and passion for our sport.
"I am so proud of her for who she is, her values, and for fighting to realize her dream of winning Wimbledon."
While she was less than two weeks away from competing at the US Open in New York, Marion Bartoli walks away with no regrets, especially given that her last victory was the capture of her long-elusive Grand Slam title. In addition, despite injuries limiting her career, Bartoli can look back on said career and look back at the last 13 years with fond memories. After all, fans of hers and the game of tennis overall are already doing just that.