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'The day Serena retires will be one of the saddest days tennis has had to face,' says Marion Bartoli

Serena Williams celebrates

The day that Serena Williams retires will be 'one of the saddest days tennis will have to face, says Marion Bartoli.

A combination of a gesture to the crowd and a tearful exit from her Australian Open press conference led to much speculation that the 39-year-old may be considering hanging up her racquet.

Asked about how she'll feel about the day Serena retires, Bartoli told Tennis Majors: "I can't imagine when Serena will walk out of the game.

"I think it's going to be one of the saddest days that tennis will have to face.

"I think if there is more disappointment and if her body is letting her down and if she's carrying another injury like she did in Roland Garros when she had that Achilles injury, I think it's going to start to be more and more difficult,"

"I don't think she's made up her mind yet, I think she'll see how the rest of 2021 is evolving."

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"I just hope she can continue, I just love to see her play.

Bartoli also paid tribute to Serena for even being anywhere near the level she is at now after all she has put her body through.

"I think what's she's bringing on the court is far more impressive than just playing tennis.

"Being a mother myself, going through pregnancy and giving birth, you see how much your body's changing, it would be impossible for me now to even think about training to get ready for a Grand Slam.

"After giving birth to Olympia she was trying to get ready and training to win a grand slam, and that in itself is just an accomplishment only a mother can relate to."

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