Marion Bartoli is planning to go to hospital to be treated for a virus after Wimbledon, she has said.
The former champion, who was dropped from an invitation doubles event at the All England Club this week on medical grounds, said that the virus was to blame for her sudden weight loss and emaciated appearance.
Bartoli, 31, who was angry that officials prevented her playing in the prestigious event on Tuesday, told Paris Match that the virus “won’t let me eat anything”.
The French player, who retired a month after winning the Wimbledon singles championship in 2013, said during the interview, conducted before she was forced out of the Wimbledon match, that “I have no more fat — I’m always cold”.
“I have a virus that my body is fighting,” she said. “It won’t let me eat anything. I’ll have to go to a clinic in Italy at the end of Wimbledon.”
Her weight loss since she retired from professional tennis has been a cause for concern but Bartoli has insisted that she is just returning to her “natural shape” and “tiny frame”.
Last month the 5ft 7in athlete told The Times that she had dropped from 68kg (10st 7lb) to 48kg (7st 5lb) after adopting a diet that was “gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, salt-free” and because she stopped going to the gym.
Her win three years ago made her a star of Wimbledon and she became the centre of controversy when the BBC broadcaster John Inverdale said on the radio: “Do you think Bartoli’s dad told her when she was little: ‘You’re never going to be a looker’?”
At the All England Club yesterday, Bartoli declined to discuss her health or the decision to exclude her from the invitational tournament.
She is working at Wimbledon as a broadcaster for Fox Asia television. British viewers have also seen her reporting from fan parks during the European football championship in France on ITV.
She told Paris Match that the criticism she received during her career had given her strength.
“They would all tell me that I had zero talent,” she said. “I didn’t care. My dream was so strong, so ingrained in me that no comments could touch me. My tennis training was a great life lesson, even if it was difficult.”