Ash Barty announces retirement
Ash Barty has made the incredible decision to retire from professional tennis at the age of 25.
The World No.1 announced her retirement in a video interview with her friend and former doubles partner Casey Dellacqua on Instagram on Wednesday, thanking those who supported her along the way.
“Today is difficult and filled with emotion for me as I announce my retirement from tennis,” she captioned the video.
“I am so thankful for everything this sport has given me and leave feeling proud and fulfilled.
“Thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way, I’ll always be grateful for the lifelong memories that we created together.”
In the interview, Barty confessed that it was the first time saying that she was retiring outloud and having to put the racquets down.
“I will be retiring from tennis. It’s the first time I’ve actually said that out loud and it’s hard to say,” she began.
“But I’m so happy and I’m so ready and I just know at the moment in my heart for me as a person, this is right.
“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 put the racquets down.”
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Barty said thoughts about retirement came to mind when she won Wimbledon in 2021 as well as the Australian Open in January.
“It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. I’ve had a lot of incredible moments in my career that have been pivotal moments,” she said.
“Wimbledon changed a lot for me as a person and for me as an athlete. When you work so hard for your life for one goal. I’ve been able to share that with so many incredible people.
“But to be able to win Wimbledon, which was my dream, the one true dream I wanted in tennis, that really changed my perspective. I just had that gut feeling after Wimbledon and had spoken to my team quite a lot about it.
“There was just a little part of me that wasn’t quite satisfied. And then came the challenge of the Australian Open and I think that for me just feels like the most perfect way, my perfect way, to celebrate what an amazing journey my tennis career has been.”
Barty admitted that she was physically and emotionally “spent” and knew that a “perspective shift” would help her decision to retire from tennis.
“My happiness wasn’t dependent on the results. Success for me is knowing that I’ve given absolutely everything that I can. I’m fulfilled, I’m happy,” she explained.
“I know how much work it takes to bring the best out of yourself. I’ve said to my team multiple times - I don’t have that in me any more.
“I don’t have the physical drive, the emotional want and kind of everything it takes to challenge yourself at the very top level any more. I just know that I’m absolutely spent.
“I had nothing more to give and that, for me, is success. I’ve given absolutely everything I can to this beautiful sport of tennis. I’m really happy with that. For me that is my success.”
She confessed that people may not “understand” her decision to retire but she was “OK with that”.
“I know that for me Ash Barty the person has so many dreams that she wants to chase after that don’t necessarily involve travelling the world, being away from my family, being away from my home, which is where I’ve always wanted to be.
“I’ll never, ever, ever stop loving tennis. It’ll always be a massive part of my life but 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.”