Wimbledon Champion Marion Bartoli Announces Retirement

Wimbledon Champion Marion Bartoli Announces RetirementIn a move that will send shockwaves reverberating through the tennis world, defending Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli announced her retirement from the sport following a second-round loss to Simona Halep of Romania at the 2013 Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.

‘Wear and tear’

After the match, Bartoli told reporters that the wear and tear on her body is the overwhelming reason she’s walking away from the game, per the Western & Southern Open’s Twitter feed. Bartoli later took to Twitter to thank fans for their support:

“Hey to all of u! 4:55 am can’t sleep of course ,reading all your sweet messages, and it makes me cry, thank u for sending me all this love”

‘Unorthodox playing style’

Best known for her triumph at the All England Club just earlier last month, the 28-year-old Frenchwoman began her pro career in 2001. She bounced around smaller tours overseas, finally breaking through as a permanent fixture on the WTA tour two years later.

Taking a stepping-stone approach to stardom rather than the rapid ascent usually seen in this sport, Bartoli slowly worked her way up the world ranks. Known for her unorthodox playing style—in particular her two-handed forehand and backhand swings—she made a habit of giving the very best in the world a run for their money over the course of her career.

She won her first singles championship in 2006 at the ASB Classic in New Zealand, going on to win two more during that campaign to achieve her first top-20 ranking. Overall, Bartoli finishes her career with eight WTA titles.

Do you think Marion Bartoli’s retirement is final or will she decide a little later to come back? Who is your favorite female tennis player?

Source: Tyler Conway | Bleacher Report

Image: Sports Illustrated

Pope Francis Says He Won’t Judge Gays

Pope Francis Says He Won't Judge GaysPope Francis has said gay people should not be marginalised but integrated into society.

‘Who am I to judge them?’

Speaking to reporters on a flight back from Brazil, he reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church’s position that homosexual acts were sinful, but homosexual orientation was not. He was responding to questions about whether there was a “gay lobby” in the Vatican.

“If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge them?”

He also said he wanted a greater role for women in the Church, but insisted they could not be priests.

‘Less judgemental’

The Pope arrived back in Rome on Monday after a week-long tour of Brazil – his first trip abroad as pontiff – which climaxed with a huge gathering on Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana beach for a world Catholic youth festival. Festival organisers estimated it attracted more than three million people.

His remarks on gay people are being seen as much less judgemental than his predecessor’s position on the issue. Pope Benedict XVI signed a document in 2005 that said men with deep-rooted homosexual tendencies should not be priests. But Pope Francis said gay clergymen should be forgiven and their sins forgotten.

Do you agree with Pope Francis’ statements? Do you think gays can become priests?

Source: BBC News

Image: Al Jazeera