Marion Bartoli: Former Wimbledon champion 'fears for life' over unknown virus

Marion Bartoli
Former world number seven Marion Bartoli retired from professional tennis in 2013

Former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli says she "fears for her life" after contracting an unknown virus that has caused her dramatic weight loss.

France's Bartoli was barred from playing in an invitational event at Wimbledon this week after doctors expressed fears over her health.

Bartoli, who insists she is not anorexic, says the virus is so rare medical experts have no name for it.

"This is not life. I am just surviving," said the 31-year-old.

Bartoli says she can only eat organic salad leaves and cucumbers without skins, and has to wash with mineral water rather than tap water.

"I fear for my life. I worry that one day my heart will stop," the 2013 Wimbledon champion told ITV's This Morning.external-link

"My life is a living nightmare. I don't wish this on anyone but it is gradually getting worse."

Marion Bartoli
Marion Bartoli beat Germany's Sabine Lisicki to win the Wimbledon final in 2013

Bartoli added that she needs gloves when she uses her mobile phone as the virus has caused severe electro-sensitivity.

The former world number seven believes she picked up the virus when flying between Australia, New York and India in January and February this year.

She has since lost 20kg and says she will start course of treatment at a clinic on Monday.

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