World No. 1 and three-time Grand Slam champion Ashleigh Barty rocked the tennis world to the core as she announced her retirement from tennis. The 25-year old announced it via a video blog with her good friend Kasey Dellacqua. It was an emotional message to her fans around the world, saying that it was a hard decision, but one she’s been fighting for some time.
Barty leaves the world of tennis as a true champion that most recently won the home title at the Australian Open. She previously won Wimbledon and the French Open in what was a thrilling career filled with many trophies.
Tennis players usually retire when they realise they can't compete anymore. That's in stark contrast to Barty's retirement. She retires as the top-ranked player on the ATP Tour, having won the Australian Open in January. A reigning champion at Wimbledon, too, her retirement announcement shocked the tennis world and millions of her fans.
It was a tough decision to make, but one she talked a lot about with her camp. Barty said that she’s been contemplating moving on for a few years, but it wasn’t a clear decision. She further said that she didn’t have the physical or emotional drive to compete at the highest level anymore. She felt spent and retired at the top, becoming the first tennis player to do so while holding the Nr. 1 spot.
She had a great career in both singles and doubles. As mentioned earlier, Barty won the French Open in 2019, Wimbledon last year, and the Australian Open this year. She had three Grand Slam finals and ended with a clear 3-0 record, a feat that only the best players can achieve. She also won numerous ATP tournaments and finished runner-up at three Grand Slam doubles finals with partner Kasey Dellacqua.
After winning Wimbledon last year, she wanted to announce her retirement, but as she said “She wasn’t quite satisfied and there yet”. Winning the Australian Open completed her as a tennis player, and was the perfect closer to her career.
This isn't the first time Ash Barty left tennis, prompting many of her fans to think she'll come back soon. In 2014, she took a hiatus to take a break from travelling and spend more time with her family. She spent a few years playing cricket without professional training in the Big Bash League before returning to tennis in 2016.
She's been on a tear since then, taking the first ATP spot in 2019. It was at that moment that her final ascent began. She won three Grand Slams in a few years while living away from home in the past one, so it doesn't interfere with her training due to quarantine policies.
The Barty Party is over as she leaves the sport at the top of her career. As to her plans, she says that she wants to spend time with her family – nothing more. It remains to be seen if this is the last time we’ve seen of Barty or the party will continue later.
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