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Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli announces retirement from tennis

Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli has shocked the tennis world by announcing her retirement. The Frenchwoman, ranked seventh in the world, said that numerous injuries have made it too painful to continue in the sport.

France's top-ranking tennis player Marion Bartoli made the shock retirement announcement Wednesday, ending her career just six weeks after winning Wimbledon.

The 28-year-old delivered the emotional news after losing in the second round of the Cincinnati Masters to Romania's Simona Halep.

"You never kind of know before it's going to be your last match but I felt that way after the match. I felt I just couldn't do this anymore," Bartoli said. "After one set, my whole body was in pain. It's time for me to retire and to call it a career. I feel it's time for me to walk away."

Bartoli said simply walking was now difficult for her. "My Achilles is hurting me a lot, so I can't really walk normally after a match like that, especially on the hard court when the surface is so hard," she said. "And my shoulder and my hips and my lower back. My body is just done."

Bartoli is an eight-time winner on the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) tour and has played in every grand slam since the 2002 US Open.

However, after 13 years on the circuit and 47 grand slam tournaments she said her body was maxed out. Winning Wimbledon fulfilled Bartoli's childhood dream but she said it took everything she had left to offer.

In the final, Bartoli dominated over Germany's Sabine Lisicki and collected her first and only grand slam title. Lisicki, a grass court specialist with a strong Wimbledon record, was also playing in her first ever grand slam final.

"I've been through a lot of injuries since the beginning of the year. I really pushed through and left it all during that Wimbledon," she said. "That was probably the last little bit of something that was left inside me. I made my dream a reality and it will stay with me forever."

Bartoli didn't say what she plans to do next but that it will take some time to "settle down."

"It's fine. I have the right to do something else as well. I've been playing for a long, long time, and it's time for me now. It is."

hc/msh (Reuters, AFP)