Former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli announces shock comeback

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 7: Marion Bartoli of France participates at the Tournoi des Legendes on day 11 of the 2017 French Open, second Grand Slam of the season at Roland Garros stadium on June 7, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

She stunned the world by retiring from tennis just a month after becoming Wimbledon champion.

But now, a little over four years later, France’s Marion Bartoli is back.

“I have something to tell you — I’m coming back this year on the professional tour!” Bartoli told fans in a Twitter announcement as unexpected as her abrupt retirement in the aftermath of her first grand slam triumph.

“It’s going to be a huge challenge and I still have a lot of practice ahead of me,” she added, “but I’m hoping to be ready for March and the Miami Open.”

Bartoli, 33, won eight WTA titles over the course of a distinguished career, reaching a career high ranking of No. 7 in the world.

Her crowning moment came at Wimbledon in 2013, when she didn’t drop a single set en route to lifting the Venus Rosewater Dish.

Bartoli tearfully announced her retirement from the sport just 39 days after lighting up Centre Court, citing recurring injuries and persistent injuries.

“I made my dream a reality … but now by body just can’t cope with everything” she said then, telling reporters “I won’t come back. It’s done.”

An unexpected return

Never say never. Bartoli is the latest in a long line of former grand slam champions to return to the WTA Tour.

Tennis legends Kim Clijsters, Martina Hingis, Justine Henin and Lindsay Davenport have all been unable to resist the lure of the game, returning reinvigorated.

Now Bartoli looks set to do the same.

“I’m really looking forward to be on the court again in front of you, to feel your support, especially in Paris, in Roland Garros, in my home country, but also for the Fed Cup and Wimbledon” said the Frenchwoman. “I’m so looking forward to it!”

The Miami Open, where Bartoli expects to return to the court, takes place from March 19 to April 1 2018.