Ashleigh Barty Retires as World Number One
At the end of March 2022, Ashleigh Barty shocked the world by announcing that she would be retiring from tennis at just 25 years old. She simply stated that she was excited by her next chapter – but what is this exactly?
Tennis fans and people that like to bet on tennis were dumbfounded when the young, talented and exciting Australian tennis star announced the end of her career – with no one seeing it coming at all. She was simply excited about what will happen next, but when asked what that was, she simply told people to wait and see.
GIVEN HER ALL
The Australian, three-time Grand Slam winner said that she has simply given her everything to the sport. She didn’t rule out trying her hand at another sport, but she did state that she was more excited to give back to the community. She said that she has always wanted to have the time to “contribute more in other ways” and her retirement gives her this opportunity – and that is what is getting her excited now.
Barty confirmed that she was very excited to help other Indigenous Australians gain access to more opportunities to start trying out the sport from an early age.
She is well-known for being a supremely talented all-around sporting star. In fact, she played in the very first season of the Australian women’s Big Bash League back in 2015-16 when she decided to take a break from tennis.
Suggestions have been put forward that she might even take up golf or Australian Rules football – and she made no firm denials. She simply confirmed that she is an athlete that wants to try out new things. It seems that right now, nothing is out of the question.
TOP WOMEN’S PLAYER
Ash Barty made her name huge back in 2019 when she won the French Open. She then followed this Grand Slam success in 2021, winning the world-famous Wimbledon tournament. In January 2022, she cemented her status as an Australian tennis legend by becoming the first home player to win the Australian Open – men’s or women’s title in 44 years.
However, just a few months later, she admitted that retirement had been a thought since her Wimbledon win in 2021. She has suffered an injury from the Australian Open that has taken some time to heal and has not really played too much since the victory.
Obviously, there have been questions over whether this would be a permanent retirement, given that former Grand Slam winners Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters had both returned to the game after announcing their retirements. Again, she has batted the questions away – with a simple ‘never say never’ response. It seems that this top women’s player is simply not making any commitment about what comes next.
It comes as no surprise that Barty has been flooded with support from fans and players after making her official announcement. Her biggest support, however, has come from her fiance Gary Kissick. It may be a coincidence – or not, that the retirement comes off the back of the happy couple setting a date for their wedding.
Her coach, Craig Tyzzer, was not apparently shocked by her plans. He knows Barty as a woman that very much does her own thing – and he even agrees that this might be a good time for her, coming straight after her historical Australian Open win. She has become a huge star in the country – achieving the win for her and for everyone. But is there anything left in the tank afterwards? Not now it seems.
NEW NUMBER ONE
Barty makes the brave choice to step away from the sport as the world’s number one. This retirement thus means that there is room at the top for a new name. It seems that the woman to take this place is Iga Swiatek, the 20-year-old from Poland. Swiatek is the first player to win five or more titles before her 21st birthday since Caroline Wozniacki in 2009.
Barty remains hugely supportive of Iga – describing her as an incredible person and a great tennis player. She is fresh, fearless and energetic – and an exciting name in women’s tennis. Could Barty’s decision see Swiatek realise her dreams at such a tender age?
A TRUE AUSTRALIAN HERO
Barty has inspired fans from across Australia and the world with her achievements. She has been an inspiration to younger players who want to emulate her incredible, but short, career.
Barty is a proud Aboriginal woman – and as such, she now wants to focus on working with young indigenous Australians to help them fulfil their potential, both on and off court. She has already started on this path – and her retirement gives her more time to do so.
She became world number one in 2019 – and held the top spot for 144 weeks since then, the only other players to have enjoyed longer spells at the top are Martina Navratilova (156 weeks), Steffi Graf and Serena Willians (186 weeks each).
She has truly been a wonder for the game. Whether she will return certainly gives tennis bettors something else to put their money on. But, for now, it’s been a pleasure, Barty.