In a stunning announcement on Tuesday evening, recent Australian Open champion Ashleigh Barty revealed that she is retiring from professional tennis.
Barty sat down for an interview with longtime friend and fellow professional tennis player Casey Dellacqua which she posted to her Instagram account on Tuesday.
“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,” said Barty, who referenced an ability to chase dreams outside of tennis, which includes less traveling and spending more time with her family. “It’s the first time I’ve actually said it out loud, and yeah, it’s hard to say. I don’t have the physical drive, the emotional want and everything it takes to challenge yourself at the very top of the level any more. I am spent.”
The full video is below courtesy of @ashbarty on Instagram:
The 25-year-old Barty won the Australian Open just a couple of months ago, her third major title overall. She has been atop the WTA Rankings for the last 114 weeks.
“The Challenge of the Australian Open, and I think that for me, feels like the most perfect way—my perfect way—to celebrate what an amazing journey my tennis career has been,” said Barty. “As a person, this is what I want. I want to chase after some other dreams that I’ve always wanted to do.
I know that people may not understand it. I’m OK with that. Because I know that for me Ash Barty the person has so many dreams that she wants to chase after that don’t necessarily involve traveling the world, being away from my family from my home, which is where I’ve always wanted to be. It’s where I’ve grown up.”
Barty says she still loves tennis, but is ready for the next chapter of her life.
“I’ll never, ever, ever stop loving tennis. It will always be a massive part of my life, but now I think it’s important I got to enjoy the next phase of my life as Ash Barty the person, not Ash Barty the athlete.”