Andy Brownbill / AP
Ash Barty, the world’s No. 1 female tennis player, has surprised the sports world by retiring at the age of 25, just two months after winning her third Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open.
“Tennis has given me all my dreams plus more, but I know the time is right now for me to walk away,” Barty said in a sometimes emotionally charged but largely calm six-minute video, which was posted on her Instagram account.
“I do not have the physical drive, the emotional desire and everything it takes to challenge yourself at the top level anymore. I’m used to it,” she explained in a brief interview with her friend and former double partner Casey Dellacqua.
Barty won the 2019 French Open, as well as the Wimbledon and Australian Open in Melbourne Park last year. She became the first Australian player in 44 years to win at her home event in January, beating four American tennis stars along the way.
Barty previously left the tour for nearly two years in 2014 citing burnout, but came back to rise to the top of the sport.
“I know people may not understand it, I’m okay with that,” she said. “I’ve given everything I can to this beautiful sport and I’m really happy about it. For me, it’s my success.”
Barty explained that she would “chase other dreams” that “do not necessarily involve traveling the world and being away from my family.” Barty announced her engagement to golf intern Garry Kissick in November.
Tributes came online. British men’s grand slam winner Andy Murray wrote: “Joy to Ash Barty, cleared of tennis, which player.” Barty is planning a media conference on Thursday.
Ash Barty, the world’s No. 1 female tennis player, says she’s retiring: NPR
Source link Ash Barty, the world’s No. 1 female tennis player, says she’s retiring: NPR