Tennis’s world number one has shocked the sporting world by announcing her retirement.
Ash Barty, born in Australia, has announced her retirement today at just 25 years of age.
Barty made her announcement via social media stating she is “chasing other dreams”, and comments “physically I have nothing more to give”.
“I’m so happy and I’m so ready. I just know at the moment in my heart, for me as a person, this is right,” she proclaims.
“I know that people may not understand it. I’m OK with that. Because I know that 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, from my home, which is where I’ve always wanted to be.”
She has earned £17.9m in prize money and millions in sponsorships making her the 14th best-paid female player in history.
Whilst being ranked outside the top 200, Barty took an extended break from tennis in 2014 until 2016 and came back making it to world No. 1.
Barty has held her number one spot since winning her first Grand Slam at the French Open in 2019 – a 114 consecutive week run.
Serena Williams, Steffi Graf (both 186 weeks) and Martina Navratilova (156) have has longer streaks as world number one in the women’s game.
Barty said she’s been considering retirement for a while and had a ‘gut feeling’ achieving her childhood dream of winning Wimbledon last year.
‘It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time and I’ve had a lot of incredible moments in my career that have been pivotal moments,’ she said.
Barty also revealed she’s ‘physically spent’ after three consecutive years as the women’s world No 1 following her comeback to the sport in late 2016 after an 18-month break prompted by her struggles with mental health.
Steve Simon, WTA chairman, has commented, “Ashleigh Barty with her signature slice backhand, complemented by being the ultimate competitor, has always led by example through the unwavering professionalism and sportsmanship she brought to every match.
“With her accomplishments at the Grand Slams, WTA Finals, and reaching the pinnacle ranking of No1 in the world, she has clearly established herself as one the great champions of the WTA.”
Watch her announcement video here: https://www.instagram.com/tv/Cbbbr7xBX7N/?utm_medium=copy_link