Ash Barty, the women’s world No. 1 and reigning Australian Open and Wimbledon champion, shocked the tennis world when she announced her retirement from the sport at the age of 25.
Speaking to friend and former doubles partner Casey Dellacqua in a video posted to Instagram, the Australian revealed she was quitting tennis because she wanted to “chase other dreams”.
“Success for me is knowing that I’ve given it my all – I’m fulfilled, I’m happy and I know how much work it takes to get the best out of yourself,” said the three-time Grand Slam champion. “I’ve said it to my team several times, it’s just that I don’t have that in me, I don’t have the physical drive, the emotional desire – everything it takes to challenge yourself to the highest level. I’m exhausted… physically I had nothing left to give. I gave absolutely everything for this beautiful sport of tennis.”
Cricket set things right
This marks Barty’s second “retirement” from the sport, Sky news called. She left tennis as a teenager in late 2014 before “returning two years later and quickly rising up the rankings.”
Barty’s rise to the top of women’s tennis is an “incredible story,” he said Daily Mail. After picking up a racquet at the age of four, her talent was “obvious” and she quickly competed against older kids. However, after she went overseas at 14 to compete internationally, the schedule “became too much and the teenage girl was overwhelmed.”
In 2014 she “left a promising tennis career behind”, Fox sports called. Barty revealed she became “twisted” and quit tennis to be with the people she loved. “I guess I just had to find myself a little bit,” she said. “I felt like in the first part of my career I was twisted and maybe a little bit lost just in myself and in what I wanted to do.”
Barty turned to cricket and landed a contract with the Brisbane Heat in the Women’s Big Bash League. After all the “media attention, pressure and depression” as a dazzling tennis prodigy, stint-playing cricket “got things right”, The guard called.
“As a person, that’s right”
After winning the Australian Open in January, Barty became the first Australian in 44 years to win the men’s or women’s singles title. Now I feel “so happy” and “so ready” that Barty “knows in my heart that it’s right for me as a person.”
“People might not get it and I’m fine with that because for me, Ash Barty, the person has so many dreams to chase that it’s not necessarily about traveling the world, being away from my family , away from home, where I’ve always wanted to be, this is where I grew up,” she said. “I will never stop loving tennis, it will always be a big part of my life, but now I think it’s important that I get to enjoy the next phase of my life as Ash Barty the person, not Ash Barty the athlete .”
“One of the great champions of the WTA”
At all levels of play, Barty had a 305-102 record in singles and a 200-64 record in doubles and earned $23,829,071 in total prize money, said Greg Garber of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA). website. Her current tenure as world no. Her 121 total weeks is seventh on the all-time list.
Steve Simon, WTA Chairman of the Board, praised Barty as the “ultimate competitor” who always led by example with her “unwavering professionalism and sportsmanship” in every game. “With her successes at the Grand Slams, the WTA Finals and reaching the highest ranking of World No. 1, she has clearly established herself as one of the great champions of the WTA,” he said.
How the tennis world reacted to social media
https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/sport/tennis/956178/ash-barty-retires-tennis-reactions ‘I’m fulfilled, I’m happy’: Ash Barty retires at his best