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Ash Barty says she would ‘never say never’ about returning to professional tennis but says a comeback ‘a long way off’

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Ash Barty said she would “never say never” if she would return to professional tennis after retiring.

When asked about the prospect of a comeback, the Australian said: “Well you never say never, there’s still a long way to go.”

Barty also hinted at a role in junior tennis in her home country, saying that “the smiles” on the faces of younger players taking up the sport reminded them “why I started playing”.

She said she’s looking forward to working with younger players “throughout the community, seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces and giving them the opportunity to play tennis,” adding, “It reminds me why I started playing.”

When asked if that meant she would have a formal position at junior tennis, Barty smiled and said she “didn’t have any details to share yet.

“It’s just a goal and a dream of mine, to be able to give something back to the sport that has given me so much,” she added.

“Obviously young girls and juniors is an area that I’m really interested in. Yes, I hope to contribute in some way over time.”

She told reporters that she was leaving the circuit because the “timing was right.”

“Timing is everything, I firmly believe in that. And for me the timing is right,” she said.

A day earlier, the reigning Wimbledon and Australian Open champion said she was retiring from the sport for a second time to “chase other dreams”.

Barty laughed Thursday when asked if the “whispers” were true those dreams involved professional golf, a sport she has previously expressed admiration for.

“You boys love to whisper, don’t you? No, we’ll wait and see. ” She answered.

She also expressed her admiration for Poland’s Iga Swiatek, current world number two, who is likely to replace her at the top of the rankings.

“I’m not sure what the possibilities are (who will be number one after they retire) — I’ve never been someone to look at that much,” Barty said.

“I know if it’s Iga, there’s no better person. She’s an incredible person, a great tennis player. The way she brought that fresh, fearless energy onto the pitch was amazing.

“I loved testing myself against them. I loved playing against them. I loved practicing with her and spending time with her team. She is a brilliant person and was one of the first to message me which is really nice.

“I think she absolutely deserves it. I hope she can take it and still be herself, do it her own way, and really pursue what she’s looking for in her career and dreams.”

https://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/tennis/ash-barty-says-shed-never-say-never-about-returning-to-professional-tennis-but-any-comeback-a-long-way-off-41481872.html Ash Barty says she would ‘never say never’ about returning to professional tennis but says a comeback ‘a long way off’

Fry Electronics Team

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