After winning three major singles championships in the previous three years, world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty has announced her retirement from tennis.
The 25-year-old Australian wrote in the caption of an Instagram post on Wednesday, “Today is difficult and filled with emotion for me as I announce my retirement from tennis. I am so thankful for everything this sport has given me and leave feeling proud and fulfilled. Thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way, I’ll always be grateful for the lifelong memories that we created together.”
The post featured a video, shot with former Australian tennis star Casey Dellacqua, in which Barty explains her choice in further detail.
Barty said, “There was a perspective shift in me in the second phase of my career, that my happiness wasn’t dependent on the results, and 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, it’s just I don’t have that in me anymore. I don’t have the physical drive, the emotional want, and everything it takes to challenge yourself at the very top of the level anymore, and I just know that I am spent. I just know physically, I have nothing more to give. That, for me, is success.”
She had been contemplating retirement for a “long time,” and her choice was solidified after winning Wimbledon last year and the Australian Open this year. She said it was a tough decision for her but a right decision. As, she wanted her career to end on a good note.
She says, “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, being away from my home, which is where I’ve always wanted to be.”
WTA chairman and CEO Steve Simon said in the release, “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 No.1 in the world, she has clearly established herself as one the great champions of the WTA.”
Barty has three major singles victories on his name: the French Open in 2019, Wimbledon in 2021, and the Australian Open in 2022. She has 15 WTA Tour singles championships and 12 doubles titles to her name, and she was the first Australian to win the Australian Open singles title since 1978.
She is just the second reigning World No. 1 in women’s tennis to retire at the top, joining Justine Henin who retired in 2008.
According to the WTA, Barty, who began her professional tennis career in 2010, took a getaway from the sport from 2014 to 2016, citing that it is too much for her and this quickly. She was only 18 at the time and stated she wanted to live life like a regular young girl. She came back full-time in 2017 and quickly became the sport’s most dominant player, with her winning 25 of her past 26 matches.