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French tennis champ Marion Bartoli announces comeback

French tennis player Marion Bartoli won her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2013. Reuters/Stefan Wermuth

Former Wimbledon champion Marion Bertoli announced Tuesday she would come out of retirement and aspire to return to the tennis tour at the Miami Open in March 2018.

The 33-year-old Frenchwoman announced her comeback in a video addressed to supporters that she shared on her Twitter account.

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

“I’m really looking forward to being on the court again in front of you, to feel your support, especially in Paris of course, in Roland Garros in my home country, but also in the Fed Cup and Wimbledon.”

Bartoli became known for a playing style that including two-fisted shots for forehands and backhands, crossing her arms before serving and standing well inside the baseline to receive an opponent’s serve.

She got her first big breakthrough in 2007, reaching the Wimbledon final before losing to Venus Williams, and then won the championship in 2013 with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Sabine Lisicki in the final.

Bartoli was ranked a career-high seventh in the world when she walked away from the sport just two months later, after winning her only Grand Slam title.

In 2014, she told a news conference of injuries to her right shoulder and said “literally, I can’t even lift my arm every morning,” adding that due to the injury she had “definitely no regrets at all” for leaving the sport at the time.

Bartoli contracted a mysterious virus in 2016, which caused drastic weight loss and threatened her life.

The former champ said her ambitions to return to the sport helped guide her through her recovery and that she now plays tennis four hours per day, in addition to two hours of physical training.