Shock in the tennis world this Wednesday with the announcement of the retirement of the WTA number one, Ashleigh Barty, only 25 years old. With three Grand Slams won, most recently at the Australian Open, Barty has surprised everyone with his desire to hang up his racket. “I have nothing more to give,” he said. The final in Melbourne was precisely his last match, since he was absent from the American tour to recover well. Now, through his social networks, he has announced that he will not play tennis as a professional again.
«Today is a complicated day, full of emotions because I am retiring from tennis. It’s the first time I’ve said it and it’s hard to say. I am very happy and ready, in my heart I know that it is time, I know that it is the right thing to do. I am very grateful for everything that tennis has given me, but I know that it is time to step aside and pursue other dreams,” Ashleigh Barty began in a video that has shocked the world of tennis. At 25 years old, the Australian tennis player was not expected to decide to put an end to her career.
View this post on Instagram
Barty has given more details about his sensations and the moment in which he realized that tennis no longer gave him the same. He has done it in an interview with the former Australian tennis player Casey Dellacqua. “I’ve been thinking about it for a long time. I’ve had a lot of amazing moments in my career,” says Barty. « Wimbledon last year changed me a lot, winning it was my real dream, and after that edition my perspective changed. I had a hunch in me, there was a part of me that was not satisfied, that was not complete, ”says the Australian, champion of the London Grand Slam in 2021.
“The challenge of the Australian Open has arrived, which is my perfect way to celebrate the incredible journey that my tennis career has been. I want to pursue other dreams”, says Barty, remembering her victory in Melbourne as the great finishing touch to end her career and also make it to the top of the WTA ranking.
“I’m exhausted, I have nothing more to give”
Barty assures that he feels that he has already given everything he had to tennis and that is why the best decision is to step aside, to pursue other goals in life. «There has been a change of perspective in my career, my happiness did not depend on the results. For me, success is knowing that I have given everything. I know all the work it takes to give the best of oneself. I no longer have in me that physical, emotional motivation that is required to be at the top. I am exhausted, I have nothing more to give, and that for me is success, having given everything I have to tennis,” she explained.
Aware that her decision will surprise the world and that there will be those who do not understand her position, Barty accepts it but maintains that tennis can no longer make her happy. «People may not understand it and it’s fine with me, but I know that I have many dreams to pursue that do not include having to travel, being away from my family and my home, which is where I always want to be. I will never stop loving tennis, it will be an important part of my life, but now I want to enjoy the next phase of my life,” she said, visibly moved.
Reactions to his withdrawal
The withdrawal of the champion of Roland Garros (2019), Wimbledon (2021) and Australia (2022) has caused a great commotion in the world of tennis. As soon as the news of Ashleigh Barty’s withdrawal was known, it didn’t take long for reactions to appear. One of the first has come from the WTA, through its president, Steve Simons, who has highlighted the Australian who “has always been an example for her professionalism and sportsmanship in each match.” “We wish Ash the best, and know that she will continue to be a great ambassador for tennis as she embarks on this new chapter in her life. We will miss her,” he added.
The Wimbledon or Australian Open tournaments have also had nice words for their former champion, as well as other teammates such as Andy Murray or Simona Halep .
You have done all of Australia proud 🙌
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, @ashbarty. #AusOpen 👉 https://t.co/Lie9dfG6Ea pic.twitter.com/i2MbldXADO
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) March 23, 2022
Barty began to stand out from a very young age in tennis, although throughout her career she has had moments when she has moved away from the racket sport. He did it between September 2014 and February 2016, during which time he tried cricket and even signed for the Brisbane Heat, but then he returned to tennis, a sport with which he has won three Grand Slams and has come to occupy the highest ranking position. Also during the pandemic, Barty took eleven months off, choosing to stay in Australia until things got better rather than commuting. Now, at 25 years old, she is clear that tennis is not her source of happiness and she is ready to pursue new goals.