WATCH: "She's almost unrecognisable" - Virus causes Marion Bartoli to withdraw from Wimbledon invitational event

The French star won the Women's tournament in 2013

WATCH: "She's almost unrecognisable" - Virus causes Marion Bartoli to withdraw from Wimbledon invitational event

Picture by: EMPICS Sport / EMPICS Sport

2013 Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli has claimed "a virus" is the reason she has been withdrawn from a doubles tournament by Wimbledon organisers on health grounds.

The 31-year-old French player retired just over a month after her only Grand Slam win, and has be a constant on the tennis circuit since retirement. She is working with the BBC during the tournament.

According to the Daily Mail, Bartoli was withdrawn from the women's invitational doubles competition due to concerns over her apparent weight-loss. Since then she has confirmed it is due to a virus.

"I fear for my life. I worry that one day my heart will stop," she told ITV’s 'This Morning' programme today.

"I can’t type on the phone without gloves and for no more than five minutes as my heart will start to pump faster. 

"What I'm going through I wish on absolutely nobody."

"I could see it coming. I have a virus that my body is fighting. It won’t let me eat anything. I'll have to go to a clinic in Italy at the end of Wimbledon", she told Paris Match.

She has lost three stone since retiring, but it is her diet that has caused the most issues. "I’m completely gluten-free, sugar free, dairy-free, salt-free and everything organic. (I eat) steamed vegetables, salads, cucumbers."

Despite the admission of ill health, many commentators are still worried about Bartoli's health. 

Speaking to Newstalk.com, personal trainer Karl Henry thinks her diet is a reason behind the health issues.

"I don't think she looks healthy at all. She looks undernourished. Her diet is very restrictive. There's basically no processed foods. No dairy. No gluten. No wheat. There's not a whole lot going in there. She's saying that she's only eating lettuce, salads and cucumber. Having to withdraw from the tournament is not a good sign."

"Her body shape has totally changed. She was very muscular when she played it. Now, she's almost unrecognisable. It's very hard to do that."

"I'm not sure she can get any thinner... Everything seems quite extreme (in her diet). There's no balance there at all"

Despite the health issues, Bartoli is expected to commentate on the Wimbledon semi-finals on Thursday afternoon and also on Saturday's women's final