French tennis ace Marion Bartoli, on Tuesday, surprised many by announcing her comeback in professional tennis after a four-year hiatus from the game. The Frenchwoman had retired from tennis after winning the Wimbledon 2013 following which she had contracted a life-threatening mystery virus.
Bartoli was the last French player to have won a Grand Slam singles tournament four years ago and remains the only one to have lifted a major title after Amelie Mauresmo won Wimbledon in 2006. After making headlines in 2013 by winning the Wimbledon title, she announced her retirement less than six weeks later, citing persistent injuries.
She had won eight WTA titles prior to that and had reached a career-high world ranking of seventh in 2012. It was followed by a successful television pundit stint before she revealed in 2016 that she had "feared for her life" after contracting a mystery virus, which saw her lose 20kg of weight. Even the medical experts had stated the virus as rare enough not to have any name for.
Though she was on her road to recovery a month later, no one would have expected her to make a comeback to professional tennis again. However, Bartoli, on Tuesday, announced her comeback through a video posted to her Instagram account.
“It`s going to be a huge challenge, I still have a lot of practice ahead of me. “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,” said the 33-year-old.
Bartoli’s comeback though is not the first in tennis history. Belgian aces Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin, and Swiss former World No 1 Martina Hingis have also been seen making a comeback in professional tennis after announcing retirement, and successfully finishing their second and third stints.
After returning in 2009, Clijsters claimed back-to-back US Open titles and the 2011 Australian Open, while Hingis retired for a third time earlier this year after winning the Cincinnati Open, US open, Wuhan, and China Open.