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Bartoli announces tennis retirement
Just weeks after winning the Wimbledon title, Marion Bartoli has retired from tennis, tearfully conceding that the pain from a series of injuries was too much to bear.
The 28-year-old French player said: "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."
Bartoli, who was runner-up at Wimbledon in 2007, clinched her career-defining victory when she beat Sabine Lisicki in the final at the All England Club in July. She climbed into the stands to hug her father, Walter, a doctor who zig-zagged across France taking her to tournaments as a schoolgirl.
After another painful time on court during a 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 loss to Simona Halep at the Western & Southern Open on Wednesday, she called her father and came to her decision.
"I have pain everywhere after 45 minutes or an hour of play," she said. "I've been doing this for so long. Body-wise, I can't do it any more."
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."
Bartoli blamed a succession of injuries for her decision to call it a day - citing in particular an Achilles problem which was troubling her on the hard courts.
"My body just can't do it any more," she said. "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 any more."
Bartoli said she had played through the pain to realise her childhood dream of winning Wimbledon this summer.
She said: "When you dream about something for so long and you've been on tour for many, many, many years and you've been through ups and downs and highs and lows and already a lot of injuries since the beginning of the year, my body was really starting to fall apart, and I was able to keep it together, go through a lot of pain throughout Wimbledon, and still make it happen.
"That was probably the last little bit of something that was left inside me."
Asked what she plans to do next, she said: "There are so many things to do in life rather than playing tennis, so I'm sure I'll find something. I just need a bit of time to settle down.
"There is some excitement as a tennis player. There is a lot of excitement as a woman. There is a lot of excitement as a wife. There is a lot of excitement as a mother. There is a lot of excitement to come up.
"Obviously I'm excited to live my future, but I will have time to think about it in the months, years to come."