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Bartoli softens quit stance

Marion Bartoli has softened her stance on a possible comeback to never say never.

In the immediate aftermath of her shock decision to retire, which came just 40 days after she won Wimbledon, the Frenchwoman was adamant she would not change her mind.

Justine Henin, Kim Clijsters and Martina Hingis — now back in the game for a third time — have all returned to the tour after spells in retirement in recent years, and Bartoli has not yet asked to be taken out of the rankings.

She insisted she has no regrets over her decision, and is greatly enjoying exploring New York as a tourist, but has left the door ajar.

She said: "You never know what’s going to happen. I’m still in the rankings and I think I will be there until the end of the year and then we will see. It’s pretty hard to say I will never come back."

Bartoli’s decision came completely out of the blue.

She had not thought about retiring before losing to Simona Halep in Cincinnati, after which she felt so strongly she could not carry on because of the physical toll on her body that she quit on the spot.

Bartoli said any decision to come out of retirement would have to come purely from within her, and insisted she will not find it difficult living without such highs as she experienced at Wimbledon.

"I think it will probably come from me," she said.

"It’s really hard for someone outside to understand, starting from six years old when you have to hit probably two million balls before becoming a pro tennis player, and everything you have to go through.

"I’m someone who is really pleased with something very simple. As long as I’m waking up every morning feeling one of the happiest people on this planet, that is the most important thing."