Tennis: Former Wimbledon champ Marion Bartoli announces comeback

Bartoli celebrates after beating Germany's Sabine Lisicki in 2013 to win Wimbledon.
Bartoli celebrates after beating Germany's Sabine Lisicki in 2013 to win Wimbledon.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - Former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli announced her professional tennis comeback in a video posted to her Instagram account on Tuesday (Dec 19).

The 33-year-old announced her retirement immediately after winning the 2013 Wimbledon title, fulfilling a lifelong ambition.

"It's going to be a huge challenge, I still have a lot of practice ahead of me," she said.

"I'm really looking forward to being on the court again... Especially in Paris at Roland Garros in my home country, but also for the Fed Cup and Wimbledon."

The Frenchwoman added that she was aiming to return at the Miami Open hardcourt tournament in March.

She has won eight WTA Tour titles and reached a career-high ranking of seventh in 2012, before carving out a successful career as a television pundit after retiring.

In 2016, Bartoli suffered from a mystery virus that saw her lose 20kg of weight.

Bartoli said she feared for her health after pulling out of an exhibition event at the All England Club ahead of Wimbledon that year.

But a month later, she said she was "on the road to recovery", after struggling with an illness that medical experts said was so rare they had no name for.

Bartoli was the last French player to win a Grand Slam singles tournament four years ago, and is the only one to have lifted a major title since Amelie Mauresmo won Wimbledon in 2006.