Tennis: Bartoli on 'road to recovery' following three weeks in hospital

Bartoli said that the virus she suffered from was so rare that medical experts had no name for it.
Bartoli said that the virus she suffered from was so rare that medical experts had no name for it.PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (AFP) - Former Wimbledon winner Marion Bartoli insisted on Friday she was "on the road to recovery" after a mystery virus caused her dramatic weight loss and led her to fear for her life.

The 2013 champion from France, who had shocked fans with her skeletal appearance, was barred from playing in an invitational event at Wimbledon after doctors expressed fears over her health.

"I'm on the road to recovery," Bartoli told French radio RTL following three weeks in hospital. "I'm recovering slowly."

Bartoli, 31, said earlier this month that the virus was so rare that medical experts had no name for it.

"I suffered from an infectious virus and with the two combination treatments (in Merano in Italy and in Paris) we were finally able to get my body to start making anti-bodies that allowed the professor to analyse and treat me," she explained.

Bartoli had said she probably picked up the virus when flying between Australia, New York and India in January and February this year. She has since lost 20kg which has reduced her life to a "living nightmare".

"I thought I had experienced everything on the tennis court but I can tell you that what I've been through these past three weeks is 10 times worse," she said. "I was on a drip every day, I was fed by a stomach tube... so it's been a long fight."

Bartoli added that she wanted to continue with her career as a fashion designer and working as a tennis pundit.

"I really went through hell," she said. " I'm on the right track of remission."