Tennis Live Update: Ashleigh Barty, the world number one, has announced her surprise retirement from professional tennis at the age of 25.
The three-time Grand Slam champion and current Wimbledon and Australian Open champion announced her retirement from tennis for the second time to “pursue other dreams.”
In an Instagram video with her friend and former doubles partner Casey Dellacqua, Barty announced her retirement.
“I kind of wasn’t quite sure how I was going do this but I think so many times in my life both my professional and my personal, you’ve been there for me,” Barty told Dellacqua.
“And I couldn’t think of anything else than ‘there’s no right way, there’s no wrong way.'” It’s just my way of doing things, and this is the best opportunity for me to share it with you so that I can tell my team and loved ones that I’ll be retiring from tennis.
“And so this is the first time I’ve actually said it out loud, and yeah, it’s hard to say, but I’m so excited and so ready, and I just know in my heart right now that this is the right thing for me as a person.”
Barty described winning Wimbledon in 2021 as the fulfilment of her “one true ambition,” as it was the first time an Australian had won a singles title at the Championships in nearly 20 years.
It was also life-changing for the right-hander, who broke down in tears when she told Dellacqua that she had been thinking about retiring for a long time.
“In my career, I’ve had a lot of wonderful moments that have been crucial,” Barty remarked. “When you work so hard your whole life for one objective, and you’ve been able to share it with so many wonderful people, Wimbledon last year changed a lot for me as a person and as an athlete.”
“However, being able to win Wimbledon, which was my dream, my one genuine tennis dream, completely transformed my perspective.”
Barty had previously resigned from tennis in 2014 and went on to play cricket with the Brisbane Heat in the Women’s Big Bash League the following year, before returning to tennis in 2016. She also has a four-handicap in golf.
The complete text of Ash Barty’s retirement announcement
“There’s no right way, no wrong way; it’s just my way, and this is the best opportunity for me to share it with you, to talk to you about it, to share it with my team and my loved ones, that I’ll be retiring from tennis.” It’s the first time I’ve actually said it out loud, and it’s difficult to express, but I’m so pleased and ready, and I just feel in my heart that this is the correct decision for me as a person.
“I’ve done this before, but with a very different feeling and I’m so grateful to everything 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 put the rackets down.
“It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time and I’ve had a lot of incredible moments in my career that has been pivotal moments. Wimbledon last year changed a lot for me as a person and for me as an athlete when you work so hard your whole life for one goal and I’ve been able to share that with so many incredible people.
“But to win Wimbledon was my dream, the one, a true dream that I wanted in tennis. That really changed my perspective and I just had that gut feeling after Wimbledon and had spoken to my team quite a lot about it, and there was just a little part of me that wasn’t quite satisfied and fulfilled.
“Then came the Australian Open, which felt like the ideal way – my ideal way – to commemorate what has been an incredible journey in my tennis career. I want to pursue some other ambitions I’ve always wanted to pursue, and I’ve always maintained a healthy balance, but I’m really looking forward to it.
“In this second part of my career, I realised that my pleasure wasn’t contingent on results and that success for me is knowing that I’ve given it my all. I’m fulfilled, joyful, and I understand how hard it is to bring out the best in oneself.
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