x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli right to leave tennis on her terms

The now-retired Marion Bartoli has always done things her way, without much thought for norms. Her tennis itself had a bit of rebellion in it.

Marion Bartoli will retire as Wimbledon women's champion.
Marion Bartoli will retire as Wimbledon women's champion.

The tennis world is still talking about Marion Bartoli's sudden decision to retire from the sport. It was sudden because nobody really saw it coming, not her agents, IMG, or even her hitting partner, the former world No 1 Amelie Mauresmo.

"I am very surprised by this announcement," Mauresmo said. "I had not seen any particular sign it was in the offing. I just have to take it on board and wish her all the best in her new life."

Bartoli has been flooded with similar good wishes from other former stars, but there are a few who hope she will reconsider her decision.

"I hope she is going to change her mind," said retired French player Guy Forget. "You don't want to have regrets looking back."

Bartoli is, however, unlikely to heed those calls. She has always done things her way, without much thought for norms. Her tennis itself had a bit of rebellion in it. Yes, she is still young – 28 – and could still play for a few more years, but clearly does not want to.

"My mind is not there, my heart is not there, and I just can't lie like that," she said.

"That's not the way I've been raised. That's not the way I am. So, I prefer to stay true to myself rather than just cheating."

Truth be told, Bartoli has probably scaled the peak of her tennis career.

It would be nearly impossible to better her upset triumph at Wimbledon, so it does make sense to bow out with that greatest of sensations being a grand slam champion.

arizvi@thenational.ae

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