Less than two months after winning her home Grand Slam, world number one Ash Barty has announced her retirement from professional tennis just one month before her 26thbirthday.
Barty announced her decision in an Instagram video with Casey Dellacqua, her former doubles partner, saying that she had fulfilled all her goals in her tennis career and is looking forward to pursuing other dreams.
“It’s the first time I’ve actually said it out loud. It’s hard to say, but 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 said.
“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 put the racquets down."
Barty won 15 career singles titles, including three Grand Slam tournaments: The French Open in 2019, Wimbledon in 2021 and the Australian Open this year. She is also an accomplished doubles player, winning the 2019 US Open with American CoCo Vandeweghe.
She noted that she started to lose her passion for competing on tour after winning Wimbledon, but still thought there was something missing without winning her home major.
“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 said.
“There was just this little part of me that wasn’t quite satisfied, wasn’t quite fulfilled. 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 spent a total of 121 weeks at world number one, with 114 of those being consecutive, a streak that is the fourth-longest in WTA history.
Barty said she had spoken to her team many times about her losing her drive, and looks forward to being at home with her friends and family, but will always love the sport that she has achieved so much in.
“I’ll never ever, ever stop loving tennis,” she said. “It’ll always be a massive part of my life. But now I think it’s important that I get to enjoy the next phase of my life as Ash Barty the person and not Ash Barty the athlete,” she said.