2014 Aegon International

Bartoli returns to play on grass

Marion Bartoli, who retired from the WTA Tour following her 2013 Wimbledon triumph, will return to play on English grass this summer – which briefly sparked a rumour that she may make an appearance at Devonshire Park this year.

The French ace, 29, will be on court at SW19 and to compete in Liverpool in her first public match since claiming the Wimbledon title. She admitted: “I’m so looking forward to being back on the grass, it will bring back amazing memories.”

Bartoli is set be at the All England Club in London on 10 May, when she will join other champions to witness the ceremonial unveiling of the Wimbledon grass courts. She will follow this by playing a friendly game of Women’s Doubles.

And Bartoli is due to play in exhibition matches at the Liverpool Hope International Tennis Tournament, the week when she has usually be competing at Devonshire Park – one week before Wimbledon begins.

The Tournament played at Liverpool Cricket Club, is the largest tennis exhibition in Europe and runs from 19-22 June with Bartoli due to compete from 18-20 June.

The 2011 Eastbourne champion Bartoli

Bartoli, the 2011 Eastbourne champion explained: “This will be my first full match in front of a crowd but there is no chance I am making a proper comeback to the WTA Tour.

“I’m nearly 30 so it’s time for me to start another journey, which is about creativity.

“I’m working as hard as ever but it is on painting and design. I’m making shoes and bags and jewellery, sports gear and high end gear with part of the proceeds going to the UNICEF charity.”

Since the former Devonshire Park favourite retired, just 40 days after lifting her maiden Grand Slam Singles crown, she has launched a fashion brand named Winby Marion.

Bartoli added: “Wimbledon is the pinnacle because you cannot go any higher. It was a long journey for me to achieve what I did last summer.”

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