To hell and back: The Bartoli story

Former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli endured dramatic weight loss and mental abuse before setting her sights on a comeback.

Bartoli will feature in the Tie Break Tens, a one-day exhibition tournament at Madison Square Garden.   -  AP

Former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli, who retired a little over a month after winning her first grand slam title, at Wimbledon 2013, is all set for a return.

Bartoli will feature in the Tie Break Tens, a one-day exhibition tournament at Madison Square Garden. The French woman also hopes to play at the Miami Open later in March, then a tournament in Monterrey, Mexico, including the three remaining Grand Slam events.

Following the untimely retirement, Bartoli was troubled by dramatic weight loss and speculation about her health resulting from "a diet that just never ends, basically."

“I’ve been weighing, at some point, 90 pounds, and I was close to dying,” Bartoli told The New York Times. “So anything that comes after that is a bonus. If I am able to call myself a professional tennis player after that, it’s a huge victory."

Bartoli recounted the time when her boyfriend coerced her into dropping unhealthy amounts of weight; 114 pounds from 165.

“But I did it because he was just, every single day, telling me I was too heavy and too fat and whatever and whatever,” she recounted.

During her playing days, a rare, two-handed forehand had become the trademark of her game. Now, as she returns to the court - four and a half years after hanging up her boots - the peculiar forehand will look the same.

“It’s not easy to learn something new at 32 years of age,” she said before adding, “That hasn’t changed,” she said, “and I don’t think it will ever change.”