Despite being the world’s best female tennis player, Barty revealed on Wednesday that she will be retiring from the sport after winning her country’s most prestigious event, the Australian Open, in January. Her decision was a shock to many.
“It was difficult,” she said when asked about her choice. I was relieved to realise that this was the proper decision for me since I knew it was.” “However, I’m extremely thrilled.”
Barty, who will be 26 next month, announced her decision to retire in a video uploaded on Instagram in which she speaks with her compatriot Casey Dellacqua, a retired player who is also one of her closest friends and a former doubles partner with whom she competed. Barty also announced that she would hold a press conference.
The announcement was the third time that Barty had taken a break from professional tennis, but it was the first time that she had publicly stated her decision. She took an extended vacation from the circuit in 2014, when she was only 17 years old and was considered one of the best doubles players in the world. She was dejected and exhausted from the journey as well as the expectations that came with her early popularity. Her professional cricket career took over during that 17-month break, but with encouragement from Dellacqua, she returned to tennis in early 2016, refreshed and ready to begin her ascent to the pinnacle under the direction of Craig Tyzzer, an experienced and unflappable Australian.
Barty also took an 11-month absence from the circuit at the outset of the pandemic, opting to stay in Australia rather than go to tournaments in other countries even after the tour’s five-month suspension ended in August 2020. Barty will return to the tour in August 2021.
However, her surprising retirement announcement, which came with the tour back in full swing and just after her victory in Melbourne, indicates that she has given her choice careful consideration and that she is making it from a position of strength.
Barty’s triumph in the Australian Open was a triumph of epic proportions. No set was dropped in her seven matches, and she handled the pressure with grace and poise to become the first Australian woman in 44 years to win a singles championship at the Australian Open. Although she usually maintains a poker face on the court, Barty made it plain how much the triumph meant to her when she burst into tears when she finished off her win in the final against Danielle Collins of the United States by roaring with glee.
Barty has spent a total of 119 weeks at the top of the rankings, which places her eighth all-time on the list. She is the first female player to retire while at the top of the singles rankings since Belgian great Justine Henin announced her retirement in May 2008, while she was at the top of the standings. Likewise, Henin was just 25 years old and the reigning winner of two Grand Slam tournaments: the French Open and U.S. Open in Henin’s case, and the Wimbledon Championships in Barty’s case. Henin eventually returned to the circuit in 2010, although she did not go on to win another major championship.
She has concluded her career with $23.8 million in prize money and 15 career singles trophies, including three Grand Slam titles, which should be enough to last her for the foreseeable future (and probably forever). As a result of her victories at the French Open in 2019 and the Wimbledon Championships in 2021, she has now won major singles championships on all three principal tennis surfaces: clay, grass, and hardcourt. She also won the Australian Open this year. Due to her adaptable style and tactical intelligence, she was a danger on every court. She also won the 2019 WTA Finals, the prestigious year-end title on an indoor hardcourt in Shenzhen, China, which was held on an indoor hardcourt.
Barty said that winning Wimbledon, which has traditionally been regarded as the pinnacle success for Australian tennis players due to their country’s historic relations with the United Kingdom, has changed her perspective on her career. Winning the Australian Open provided her with a happily ever after. As a result, she withdrew from the BNP Paribas Open, a renowned tournament in Indian Wells, Calif., and the victory in Melbourne became her last match.
Her unexpected retirement is undoubtedly a setback for the sport. As a result of her unassuming demeanour and as a famous figure of Indigenous Australian origin, she has helped to expand the sport’s popularity both domestically and internationally, resulting in her being tremendously popular in Australia.
Despite the fact that she fought to maintain her calm at the beginning of her argument with Dellacqua, Barty seemed determined. She is engaged to the Australian professional golfer Garry Kissick, with whom she has travelled extensively on tour on many occasions. Barty, on the other hand, has made it obvious that she is happiest when she is at home in Australia.
It has been my honour to contribute absolutely all I have to this wonderful sport of tennis. And I recognise that some people may not comprehend what I’m saying, and that’s OK. That’s OK with me. As a result, I know that Ash Barty the person has so many ambitions that she wants to pursue that aren’t necessarily centred upon travelling the globe, being away from my family, or being away from my home, which is where I’ve always desired to be.”