/ 24 March 2022

Ash Barty bows out

Image source: Getty
Image source: Getty


Oh, Ash… The top tennis player/top sheila floored fans by announcing her retirement from the sport yesterday. “I don’t have the physical drive, the emotional want and everything it takes to challenge yourself at the very top level anymore,” she said. Many were shocked given she’s 25yo and at the top of her game – and there will be many questions when she fronts up for a press conference today. And look, she’s done this before and come back – so, you know, let’s see if it sticks. 


Right. Which is probably why you can hear the emotion in her voice in the video she made with her mate/former doubles partner Casey Dellacqua to break the news. It’s well worth a look or a read. “I’ve given absolutely everything I can to this beautiful sport of tennis and I’m really happy with that,” she said. She also talked about last year’s Wimbledon win and how it started to change things for her because it “was the one true dream that I wanted in tennis”. But Barty said she “wasn’t quite fulfilled” until winning the Aussie Open in January. And with that under her belt, she says she’s done. “Success for me is knowing I’ve given absolutely everything I can. I know how much work it takes to bring the best out of yourself. I’ve said it to my team multiple times, I just don’t have that in me anymore.” So what’s next? “I get to enjoy the next phase of my life as Ash Barty the person, not Ash Barty the athlete.” And what did the Women’s Tennis Association say? “We will miss her.” 


We’ll call out 3. 

  • First, she’s talked a lot about her family being the most important thing in her life. She grew up in Ispwich, Queensland and lives near there now with her partner Garry Kissick and their beloved dogs – and her parents and sisters are there too. The professional circuit was a hard slog for Barty because of the time away from them – it’s something she’s talked about as an issue for her. 
  • Her career was a cracker. Barty won the French Open (2019), Wimbledon (2021) and the Aussie Open (2022). She’s been the world #1 singles player since June 2019. She is also a doubles champion, having won the 2018 US Open with CoCo Vandeweghe. In total, Barty won 15 singles titles and 12 doubles titles on the WTA Tour netting US$23,829,071 in prizemoney. 

And she’s just so darn cool… Her determination that her success (or otherwise…) on the court not defining who she sounds easy, but would have been incredibly difficult to live by in her line of work. As Dylan Alcott tweeted yesterday: “Amazing tennis player but even better person. A champion in every sense of the word.”

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