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Four years after retiring former Wimbledon champion announces comeback

Former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli has announced her plans to make a shock comeback in 2018.

The 33-year-old Frenchwoman called time on her career in 2013, little over a month after lifting her only grand slam title at SW19, but intends to return to the WTA Tour next year.

Bartoli, who has been working as a commentator for Eurosport and ITV since her retirement, released the news on Eurosport’s Twitter feed and hopes to be ready for the Miami Open in March.

She said in a video: "I am coming back this year on the professional tour. I still have a lot of practice ahead of me but I am hoping to be ready for March and the Miami Open.

"I am really looking forward to being on the court again and feel your support, especially at Roland Garros at the French Open and also Wimbledon, I am so looking forward to it."

She added on her Instagram page: "I am very happy to announce my return to the professional circuit of the @wta I can not wait to meet you and share great emotions with you again."

Bartoli suffered with health issues during her retirement and said in 2016 that she "feared for her life" after an unknown virus before eventually making a full recovery.

She enjoyed a career high ranking of seventh in 2012 and has lifted eight WTA singles titles. But her Wimbledon triumph - she beat German Sabine Lisicki in the final - is her only grand slam success.