World No 1 Ash Barty announces shock retirement

World number one Ash Barty has announced her retirement from professional tennis at the age of 25.

The Australian, who has won three grand slams and is the reigning Wimbledon and Australian Open champion, said she was retiring from the sport to “chase other dreams”.

“Thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way, I’ll always be grateful for the lifelong memories that we created together,” Barty said in the caption of the Instagram video announcing her retirement.

“I know how much work it takes to bring the best out of yourself … I don’t have that in me anymore,” she said in video posted on her Instagram account on Wednesday.

“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 late-2014 after becoming disaffected by the Tour.

Barty celebrates after winning the ladies’ singles final at Wimbledon in 2021.

She returned in 2016 and rose rapidly up the rankings, earning global acclaim for her tennis and fans’ affection for her sportsmanship and laid-back demeanour.

Spending 121 weeks as world number one, Barty won the 2019 French Open and Wimbledon in 2021 and appeared well set for more Grand Slam success to take her place among the game’s greats.

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 last year 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 said in the video interviewed by her close friend and former doubles partner Casey Dellacqua.

“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.”

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