PARIS, France - French tennis star Marion Bartoli's shock decision to retire from the game just weeks after winning Wimbledon caused shock at home yesterday and also calls to reconsider.
"Very surprised," was the verdict of fellow Wimbledon winner and compatriot Amelie Mauresmo, skipper of the French Fed Cup team, and who in recent months had assumed some coaching duties with Bartoli.
Mauresmo said she had not seen the decision coming but that the pair had been in contact overnight, first by text message, then by telephone.
"I am very surprised by this announcement. I had not seen any particular sign it was in the offing. I just have to take it on board and wish her all the best in her new life," Mauresmo told a news conference organised by the French Tennis Federation after Bartoli dropped her bombshell overnight in Cincinnati.
"Of course there were one or two physical things and it's true that in general these things don't get better as you get older. Clearly it was too much for her," Mauresmo, the 2006 Wimbledon and Australian Open champion, said in allusion to Bartoli's confession that the game had been taking too much out of her in recent months as she finally captured her first Grand Slam singles crown.
Others from the tennis world also expressed regret at Bartoli's decision, including former Wimbledon winner and No.1 Lindsay Davenport, another US great Pam Shriver, French former Davis and Fed Cup skipper Guy Forget.
"Hope she continues to enjoy what she has accomplished. I wish her all the best," tweeted Davenport.
Shriver, a five-time Wimbledon doubles champion, also tweeted best wishes. "If I had ever won Wimbledon singles I would have retired ASAP.
"She always did things in her own style. Marion go live happily ever after," Shriver wrote.