5 Things I'll Cherish about Marion Bartoli
Marion Bartoli forever marches to her own beat—and that's a good thing. The tennis community is lucky to have had her in its midst since her age 6. Now, 22 years later, she says she is done with the sport, that her Achilles heel and hips and back and more just ache for up to an hour after hitting.
The Frenchwoman announced her surprising retirement from playing professionally on Wednesday night in Mason, Ohio, after losing a three-set match to Simona Halep. Tweeters of all celebrated and non-famous stripes alike made the news land among the social medium's worldwide trending topics:
Who's to say but that Bartoli may be back? She's still 28, and Martina Hingis, at 32, lost in Cincinnati doubles on the same day. Her statements to the press in Cincy drew amazed wide eyes, with some thinking her choice was a bit wild. In the meantime, here's a tribute to the young woman who may always remain an enigma, and your 2013 Wimbledon ladies' singles champion to boot: Five things I'll always relish about Marion Bartoli.
 Lest we forget, she hit with Pete Sampras once, at the Bank of the West Classic in California—and Pistol Pete even noted, caught forever on recording, that she "hit a lot harder than Michael Chang":
 After being verbally disparaged by a BBC "presenter," she wore that daring metallic dress to her Wimbledon champions' ball:
Marion, at the champions dinner after Wimbledon (GETTY) pic.twitter.com/t3I12TqGwv— Joe Fleming (@ByJoeFleming) August 15, 2013
The spot-on responses to criticism from Bartoli and her father were beyond fit to print; they were perfect.
 On the (expensive) heels of that, at July's Novak Djokovic Foundation gala, she wore this lovely dress, a flirty side ponytail, and those killer heels. Christian Louboutin for the win!
Marion Bartoli attends the Novak Djokovic Foundation London gala http://t.co/apyiEV5ffY— NovakDjokovicFanClub (@NovakFanClub) July 8, 2013
 At the Indian Wells event in 2011, she ran out of gas after storming to the final and lost to Caroline Wozniacki in three high-quality sets. She then delivered perhaps the best tournament finalist speech of all time, so eloquent and heartfelt and just genuine. That's Bartoli, as she herself noted in announcing her retirement last night: "honest."
 Oh, did I mention how she won that Wimbledon final in early July? That's right, against one of the biggest servers on the WTA ... she pounded an ace. Indeed, chalk flew up:
Congratulations, Marion. You made the chalk fly up in a good many tennis fans' heads and hearts. Go on with your brainy self. The future is yours.
Your Turn: What's your own favorite Bartoli memory? Share away below.
Got a thought, a tip, or a point to make? Hit me on Twitter @jonscott9.