Home Tennis World No. 1 Ash Barty, 25, announces retirement from tennis

World No. 1 Ash Barty, 25, announces retirement from tennis

World No. 1 Ash Barty, 25, announces retirement from tennis

Ash Barty surprisingly retired from tennis at age 25 whereas ranked No. 1 and fewer than two months after successful the Australian Open for her third Grand Slam singles title.

“I’m so happy, and I’m so ready. I just know at the moment, in my heart, for me as a person, this is right,” Barty stated, her voice shaky at occasions, throughout a six-minute video posted on her Instagram account Wednesday in Australia.

Saying it was time to “chase other dreams,” Barty stated she now not feels compelled to do what she is aware of is required to be one of the best she may be at tennis.

Barty introduced her engagement to trainee golf skilled Garry Kissick in November, main as much as the Australian Open. The pair had been relationship since 2016.

“It’s the first time I’ve actually said it out loud, and yeah, it’s hard to say,” Barty stated of her resolution to retire, which she introduced throughout an off-the-cuff interview together with her former doubles accomplice, Casey Dellacqua. “I don’t have the physical drive, the emotional want and everything it takes to challenge yourself at the very top of the level any more. I am spent.”

This isn’t the primary time Barty has walked away from tennis. She was the Wimbledon junior champion at age 15 in 2011, presaging a promising skilled profession, however left the tour completely for practically two years in 2014 due to burnout, saying she was overwhelmed by the strain and journey required.

She performed skilled cricket again dwelling in Australia then ultimately picked up a racket and returned to tennis.

Barty went on to win singles main championships on three completely different surfaces — on clay on the 2019 French Open, on grass at Wimbledon final yr and on the exhausting courts of Melbourne Park in January, turning into the primary Australian participant in 44 years to triumph on the nation’s Grand Slam match.

However she hasn’t performed a match since being offered together with her Australian Open trophy by seven-time Grand Slam singles champion Evonne Goolagong Cawley, her mentor and Indigenous and Australian tennis icon, after a straight-sets last victory over Danielle Collins.

“I am so supportive of Ash that she does what makes her happy,” Goolagong Cawley informed The Related Press on Wednesday. “I can’t wait to see what happens in the next chapter of Ash’s life and what helps her achieve her dreams.”

Barty received 15 tour-level titles in singles and 12 in doubles since first turning professional in 2010. She spent 121 weeks at No. 1 within the rankings, together with the previous 114 in a row.

Her announcement was all of the extra beautiful from an on-court perspective given her current run of success. Barty had received 25 of her previous 26 matches and three of her previous 4 occasions.

Just one different girl has walked away from the game whereas atop the WTA rankings. Justine Henin was No. 1 when she retired in Could 2008, after spending 61 consecutive weeks ranked on the high. Henin additionally was 25 on the time of her retirement, however she did come again two years after her announcement, reaching the ultimate of the 2010 Australian Open earlier than stepping away for good in 2011.

In a press release launched by the WTA, CEO Steve Simon known as Barty “the ultimate competitor” and stated she “has always led by example through the unwavering professionalism and sportsmanship she brought to every match.”

“We will miss her,” Simon stated.

Throughout her 21-month sabbatical from tennis as a teen, Barty performed cricket with the Brisbane Warmth of the Ladies’s Massive Bash League. She returned to tennis in Could 2016, taking part in a $50,000 ITF occasion in Eastbourne — successful three qualifying matches and three extra in the primary draw.

One yr later, she was ranked No. 88. By the top of 2017, Barty was a longtime member of the highest 20.

“I know I’ve done this before,” Barty stated with fun within the retirement video, “but in a very different feeling. I’m so grateful to everything that tennis has given me. It’s given me all of my dreams, plus more, but I know that the time is right now for me to step away and chase other dreams and to, yeah, put the rackets down.”

A semifinal loss to Petra Kvitova in Doha, Qatar, in February was the final match she performed in 2020; Barty stayed dwelling in Australia for the steadiness of the season when the pandemic emerged.

After six months on the highway in 2021 and after successful 5 titles, together with at Wimbledon, Barty ended her season abruptly after a loss to Shelby Rogers on the US Open.

“Wimbledon last year changed a lot for me as a person and for me as an athlete,” Barty stated. “When you work so hard your whole life for one goal — to be able to win Wimbledon, which was my dream, the one true dream that I wanted in tennis — that really changed my perspective.”

She described what she termed a “gut feeling” after Wimbledon about possibly being prepared to maneuver on, however she additionally described herself then as not “quite fulfilled.” Her victory on the Australian Open happy one other hole, and Barty stated she was fully conscious that “my happiness wasn’t dependent on the results.”

Barty’s closing phrases, at the least for now — she has a information convention deliberate for Thursday — got here on the finish of the video.

“I’ll never, ever, ever stop loving tennis,” she stated. “It will always be a massive part of my life, but now I think it’s important I get to enjoy the next phase of my life as Ash Barty the person, not Ash Barty the athlete.”

ESPN Stats & Data contributed to this report.

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