Women’s tennis world number one Ashleigh Barty shocked the tennis world on Wednesday when she announced her retirement at the peak of her game, and just two months after claiming a third Grand Slam title at the Australian Open.
Barty, 25, walks away with 15 titles to her name, the last coming at the Australian Open as she ended country’s 44-year wait for a home champion.
In a video posted on her Instagram account on Wednesday, Barty cited the fulfilment of her tennis goals and fatigue with life on the Tour for her decision.
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“I know how much work it takes to bring the best out of yourself , I don’t have that in me anymore,” Barty said in the video, interviewed by her close friend and former doubles partner Casey Dellacqua.
“I don’t have the physical drive, the emotional want and everything it takes to challenge yourself at the very top level any more. I am spent.”
It marks Barty’s second retirement from the sport, having walked away from the game as a teenager in 2014 after becoming disaffected by the Tour. She returned in 2016 and rose rapidly up the rankings, earning global acclaim for her tennis and affection from fans for her sportsmanship.
Read more: Tennis: Barty pulls out of Indian Wells, Miami tournaments
Barty climbed to the top of the world rankings shortly after claiming her maiden major at the French Open in 2019. Last year she triumphed at Wimbledon and appeared well set for more Grand Slam success to take her place among the game’s greats.
Ashleigh Barty lifts the 2021 Wimbledon trophy.
However, she never made any secret of her dislike for the touring life and her battles with homesickness.
She said realising her “one true dream” by winning Wimbledon had changed her perspective.
“Ash Barty the person has so many dreams 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,” she added.
“I’ll never, ever stop loving tennis, it’s been a massive part of my life, but I think it’s important that I get to enjoy the next part of my life as Ash Barty the person, not Ash Barty the athlete.”
‘I Am Spent,’ Says Tennis Star Barty After Retirement