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I only miss last five seconds of my career, says Bartoli

By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Apart from the final five seconds of her Wimbledon singles final last year Marion Bartoli is not missing her tennis career.

The Frenchwoman will be back at the All England Club next week minus her rackets, in the commentary box rather than trying to defend the title she won by beating Sabine Lisicki.

She has no regrets at making the decision to walk away shortly after the crowning moment of her career.

"What I miss the most is probably the last five seconds of my final, which is when I'm about to serve and I serve and I ace," Bartoli told a news conference on Sunday.

"Kind of showing it's an ace and knowing it's an ace and knowing I won Wimbledon, that's probably what I'm missing.

"Other than this, I don't miss every morning having to wake up and not being able to lift my arm; having my whole body terribly sore; having to travel; pack and unpack; all the practice time you have to book; make sure you're just having your schedule ready.

"You have to understand that every morning I couldn't lift my arm. If I didn't have the help of my physio actually warming up my shoulder, I couldn't literally lift my arm.

"That's probably what I will remember only about my whole career, is those two weeks when I put everything I had inside me, into my desire for fulfilling my dream."

While happy not to be pushing herself to the physical limit week in, week out, keen artist Bartoli, who has launched her own range of shoes, says returning to the venue where her "miracle" happened was a magical feeling.

"Just an amazing moment to kind of coming back and see all those flashbacks from last year," Bartoli said.

"All those pictures around, and having my name engraved on this champion's board, it's just absolutely amazing.

"Just extremely honored to be still the 2013 Wimbledon champion and reigning champion just for the last two weeks."

She will be in the Royal Box on Tuesday, when in normal circumstances the defending women's champion is in action "unless I do anything stupid" before then, Bartoli said.

Asked who might take her crown, Bartoli pointed to some of the young guns such as Canadian French Open semi-finalist Eugenie Bouchard and American Madison Keys.

"I think the new trends is these youngsters are coming out and are not afraid to beat the big players and the established players," she said.

"When you see Serena going out to (Garbine) Muguruza in a grand slam, that's really not something we're used to seeing maybe five or 10 years ago.

"They're just kind of coming out and say, well, we're good enough and we're going to show the world."

(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Gene Cherry)

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