Last night, Marion Bartoli was suffering from back pain in her match against Dinara Safina, which she won, 6-2, 6-7, 6-0. I wondered whether she would be okay for today's quarterfinal, and she was not: she retired in the second set of her quarterfinal against Yan Zi. The retirement, however, was due to a viral illness. Just like last year, there is a virus going through the tour; Anna Chakvetadze also had to retire from the Rogers Cup tournament because of it.
A couple of years ago, Bartoli was a walking injury, retiring, it seemed, from more matches than she played. Things got better in 2006, however. She has had a minor wrist injury since Venus Williams took it to her in the Wimbledon quarterfinal, but that appeared to be almost healed when she got to Toronto.
It is very frustrating to watch Bartoli struggle since her grand run at Wimbledon. She is a genuinely gifted player who has a lot going for her, but if gets into one of these injury patterns again, she will not meet her potential, which, in my opinion, is quite a potential. I'm never glad that anyone is ill, but it's good news to know that perhaps the back injury isn't that serious.