MARION BARTOLI has overcome a debilitating illness and now has her sights firmly set on a return to professional tennis.
The pinnacle of Bartoli’s tennis career was winning the 2013 Wimbledon championships, she then retired, four years later she has set-up camp near the Roland Garros base in Paris.
The French tennis star, who celebrated turning 33 this week, has upped the anti and has been spotted training with her father in Paris, according to RMC sport.
Today Bartoli tweeted a response to an article, that suggested she had ruled out a return, where she said that it was effectively not a no.
Bartoli has still been a regular on the tennis circuit and in 2016 fulfilled her presenting commitments at Wimbledon, but struggled in private admitting she barely had the energy to climb the stairs.
While battling the illness Bartoli’s weight plummeted and she was forced to defend herself against eating disorder rumours.
In an interview on ITV’s This Morning earlier this year, the tennis star cited the terrifying virus as the toughest challenge of her life.
Now the ex-champ is fighting fit and returning to the sport that has given her a career, it was watching the career highlight of winning Wimbledon that spurred her on to fight the deadly infection.
Bartoli commentated at the US open this year and dusted off her racket playing in the legends game at Roland Garros in June.
This was almost a year after she was forced to cancel her ladies’ invitational doubles exhibition match at the All England Club in 2016, for medical reasons.
The return to tennis could emulate that of her former rival Kim Clijsters who had a break to have children for two years in late 2000’s and returned to win the US Open and Australian open.
Serena Williams, the player that Bartoli cites as the greatest of all time, is currently on maternity leave having given birth to her first child.
Should Williams return to tennis, it could well be timed with Bartoli’s return which is believed to be next March.
Bartoli is very active on social media and interacts with a whole host of other tennis stars.
In September Bartoli shared her appreciation for her father and team behind her Wimbledon victory on #worldgratitudeday which included a picture of her joining her family and coaches in the box at Wimbledon following her win.
She was perhaps suggesting that she continues to appreciate the work that her father, and current team, are putting into her return to the sport.