Ash Barty has retired and left her mark on the tennis world
Ash Barty, the current number one women’s tennis player in the world, has suddenly retired. At only 25 years of age and coming off winning the 2022 Australian Open in January the move was shocking.
The three-time Grand Slam winner announced that she was stepping away from the game of tennis in a six-minute video posted on her Instagram account late Tuesday night.
“It’s the first time I’ve actually said it out loud, and yeah, it’s hard to say,” Barty said. “I know the time is right now to step away and chase other dreams and to put the rackets down.”
This is the second time that Barty has stepped away from tennis after she took a two-year break starting in 2014 at the age of 18. This came after the 2014 US Open because she was overwhelmed by all that was required of her to play on the professional tour. Following that retirement, Barty picked up cricket and played professionally in her home of Australia before returning to tennis in 2016.
Following her return, Barty stepped up her game and went on to win three Grand Slam singles titles, the 2019 French Open, the 2021 Wimbledon, and the 2022 Australian Open, and one doubles title at the 2018 US Open with her partner CoCo Vandeweghe.
Barty made history earlier this year by becoming the first Australian woman to win the Aussie Open since 1978 when Chris O’Neil won. By winning in Australia, Barty only needed to win the US Open to complete the career Grand Slam which would have made her the 11th woman to do so. The furthest she had progressed in the US Open was the Fourth Round in 2018 and 2019.
Barty’s retirement will shake up the landscape of women’s tennis as she has been the No. 1 ranked player for almost every week since June 2019. The departure by Barty will likely see newly ranked No. 2 Iga Swiatek become the new No. 1 player which will be the highest-ranking of her young career.
People from all over the tennis world have expressed their gratitude and support for Barty’s move. Former Wimbledon and US Open champion Andy Murray summed it up the best with his message on Twitter, “Happy for [Ash Barty] gutted for tennis.”
The players were not the only ones that thanked Barty for everything she has done in tennis as the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) and the Australian Open both commented on Barty on Twitter.
Barty’s inspiration across Australia was bigger than just tennis and that was shown by the Australian Rules Football team Richmond FC, who congratulated Barty on her retirement and welcomed her to Tigerland.
There are some beliefs that Barty’s retirement has been partially influenced by her recent engagement to Garry Kissick, a professional golfer, in November prior to winning the Australian Open.
No matter what the reason was for her retirement, Ash Barty has been a pleasure to watch and has left her mark on tennis around the world.
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