Just weeks after winning the Wimbledon title, Marion Bartoli retired from tennis on Wednesday, tearfully conceding that the pain from a series of injuries was too much to bear.
"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," the 28-year-old French player said, tears running down her cheeks. "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 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'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."