Marion Bartoli has battled back from her fight with with ill health following serious weight loss over the years – a concern that was expressed by fans over the past few months. She revealed earlier in January that she’s back to healthy weight and by last month that her fight is getting better.
Now, she’s part of the commentary team covering the Wimbledon and was doing the same at Eastbourne last week. She admitted that her condition had become so serious that she believed she would die. She told British media outlet The Times she was battling the HINI virus, the swine flu bug blamed for wiping out millions in the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, but was only diagnosed after Wimbledon last year, putting to rest rumours that she was anorexic.
“I did not know if I would wake up alive the next morning,” she said last week. “But I thought, ‘if I have to die, then if it is at Wimbledon, I would accept it,” she added.
She reached the 2007 Wimbledon final before going on to clinch the trophy in 2013 – a win she claimed came at the juncture where her health was starting to get even worse. “It was almost a miracle from God to win Wimbledon,” said Bartoli, whose highest world ranking was seven.
Bartoli was reduced to buying clothes for teenagers as her weight loss became so severe. “I was in the public eye and I could hear people talking behind my back and saying, ‘Oh, she’s anorexic’ and I wanted to scream out and say, ‘You have no idea what I’m going through’,” she said.
“It was a battle to survive every day. I could not believe people were thinking I was doing that on purpose to myself. I was scared of everything. I was not processing protein, I was losing my hair and I love my long hair, and my teeth were almost falling out and my skin was breaking down. I could not wash myself with normal water, I could not type an email, my skin was so thin that I could feel the electricity. I had arthritis. I was buying clothes for 14- year-olds,” she added.
“I felt it happened for a reason. My body was reminding me that it has been going non-stop since I was eight years old until the moment I got ill,” said Bartoli, whose immediate target is to focus on her personal life and her desire to find love and found a family. “I am starting to feel alive again and ready to build a love story, to start a family,” she said.