Tennis-Tearful Bartoli could miss Wimbledon after injury

EASTBOURNE, England, June 19 Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:20pm BST

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EASTBOURNE, England, June 19 (Reuters) - Marion Bartoli, a Wimbledon finalist two years ago, limped out of the Eastbourne International semi-finals with a thigh injury on Friday and said her participation at the All England Club was in doubt.

"If it is a strain then there is not much chance I can play next week," said Bartoli, who has been seeded 12th for next week's Wimbledon championships.

"The doctors can't yet say what the diagnosis is because it is too soon. I need to wait until tomorrow and see," added Bartoli, before leaving a news conference in tears.

Bartoli had lost the first set to fellow Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano 6-4 when she asked for the trainer to be summoned.

She took time out to have her thigh treated and strapped but, finding herself unable to run for the ball, pulled out after losing the first game of the second set to love.

Bartoli, who lost to Venus Williams in the 2007 Wimbledon final, refused to shake hands with Razzano before leaving the Centre Court.

Razzano had earlier accused Bartoli of underhand tactics, saying in French newspaper L'Equipe: "You get the impression that on court it's okay by her to use any means to win: calling on the trainer, crying, limping."

Bartoli told reporters on Friday: "To say what she said yesterday in the French newspaper, that is not really brilliant. I guess that is just the way she is."

Razzano warmed to the theme again in her own post-match news conference, saying of Bartoli: "She tries to do things to make your concentration drop. She can try anything to win. When you play Marion you need to prepare for everything."

Both women had struggled to hold serve in the windy conditions at this seaside town and as the match progressed Bartoli repeatedly squatted down to try to stretch out her thigh.

Her withdrawal gave Razzano, who has not won a tournament in almost two years, a place in Saturday's final of the grasscourt event against the winner of Friday's second semi-final between Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark and Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak.

(Editing by Kevin Fylan; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

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