NEW YORK (AFP) - Marion Bartoli refuses to rule out a comeback attempt but the reigning Wimbledon champion, who retired earlier this month, also said Sunday that she has no regrets and is enjoying her new life.
"I'm not regretting anything because I have been giving 100 per cent, trying my best every single day," Bartoli said. "I have absolutely no regrets at all.
"I really haven't had any doubt about it and had a second thought about it at all. I'm enjoying so many opportunities I didn't have time for as a tennis player." But Bartoli has not asked to have her ranking points removed from the WTA Tour, the 28-year-old French veteran propping open the door to a comeback ever so slightly.
"You never know what is going to happen. I am still in the rankings," Bartoli said. "It's pretty hard to say I will never come back." Yet that is exactly what Bartoli said 11 days earlier after losing to Romania's Simona Halep in the second round at Cincinnati at a WTA hardcourt tuneup event for the US Open, which opens Monday in New York.
"I felt for me it was time to walk away," Bartoli said. "For me it looks pretty clear." Bartoli said she looks forward to resting her body and mind and any change of heart would have to come from within, a feeling that is missing at the moment after stopping at some New York shops she never had time to see in 11 prior visits while playing in the US Open.
"It will probably come from me, my deep desire to come back or not," she said. "It's hard for someone outside to understand. I've been playing tennis every day since I was six years old and I've hit like two million balls.
"Some time to rest and relax will be good for me." Bartoli was a shock winner at Wimbledon after reaching only one prior Grand Slam final, in 2007 also on English grass.
"I think it was my destiny to win Wimbledon," Bartoli said. "I had my amazing moment of true happiness. Everything that goes into my emotions I had a chance to live it. It was beyond a dream for me.
"I'm not someone who is trying to repeat the emotions I had at Wimbledon.
It's impossible. Even for me, it's kind of hard to think I did it. It's unbelievable." Bartoli predicted another surprise at the year's final Grand Slam event in nearby Flushing Meadows, where world number one Serena Williams, a 16-time Grand Slam singles champion, is the top seed.
"I think this moment could be for a surprise," Bartoli said. "I'm the perfect example. This is a perfect time. We could have one or two surprises.
"Everyone has the right to think they will win the US Open, even if they are not Serena Williams." Bartoli was in her new tennis outfit, a black dress and high-heel shoes, as she will serve as a television commentator.
"I will never criticise," she said. "I know how hard it is out there. I know all the emotions they go through at a Grand Slam." Bartoli said she could sense the end was near in her first match after Wimbledon, a win at Toronto, when she sat in her chair and felt the aches in her back, shoulders and tendons.
"My body was just telling me I couldn't do it any more," Bartoli said.
In Cincinnati, she finally listened and after losing, called her father and said, "I don't think I can do this any more." "My father said he was proud of me and he would support me 100 per cent in any decision," Bartoli said.
Bartoli hopes her tennis legacy is to be remembered as "one of the nicest persons, and Wimbledon champion."