Former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli has responded to concerns about her health by attributing her sudden weight loss to a mystery virus that has left her able only to eat salad.
Bartoli, who has lost around five stone since her 2013 triumph at the All England Club, says she also has to wash with mineral water and use gloves when using a mobile phone because of the illness.
The Frenchwoman, was withdrawn from an invitational doubles tournament at Wimbledon, where she has been working as a pundit, on medical grounds but yesterday appeared on today to deny suggestions of anorexia.
“I fear for my life,” said the 31-year-old. “I worry that one day my heart will stop. My life is a living nightmare. I don’t wish this on anyone but it is gradually getting worse.”
Bartoli says she believes she caught the virus earlier this year during a busy spell juggling broadcasting duties with her fashion business between Australia, India and the United States.
The grand slam winner says she is so sensitive to electrical currents that she wears gloves to use her phone and only eats organic salad leaves and peeled cucumber.
She added: “The doctors said: ‘You have an internal virus that we can’t name’. But Sir Richard Branson, who is like a second father, has been finding the best clinic in the world with that problem and I can’t wait to be there on Monday, but I have to still keep on working at Wimbledon.”