World No. 1 tennis star Ash Barty announced retirement from professional sport 2 months after winning her maiden Australian Open title.
The Australian world number one revealed the surprising decision via her Instagram feed.
“I am so thankful for everything this sport has given me and leave feeling proud and fulfilled,” she said.
“Thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way, I’ll always be grateful for the lifelong memories that we created together.”
“It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time,” she said. “Wimbledon last year changed a lot for me as a person and for me as an athlete when you work hard your whole life for one goal and I’ve been able to share that with so many incredible people but to be able to win Wimbledon, which was my one true dream that I wanted in tennis, that really changed my perspective.
“I just had that gut feeling after Wimbledon and had spoken to my team quite a lot about it. There was just a little part of me that wasn’t quite satisfied, wasn’t quite fulfilled, then came the challenge of the Australian Open, that for me feels like my perfect way to celebrate what an amazing journey my tennis career has been.
“As a person this is what I want, I want to chase after some other dreams that I’ve always wanted to do.”
Barty, who won her first singles grand slam at the French Open in 2019, has not played since winning the Australian Open final over Danielle Collins in January, and bids farewell to the sport knowing she has exhausted all of her physical energy.
Notably, Barty had taken a break in the past from the sport and even tried her hand at professional cricket in Australia. She walked away from tennis as a teenager in late 2014 and only returned in 2016 after which she rose the rankings rapidly.
“I just know that I am spent, physically I have nothing more to give,” added Barty.
“That for me is success. I’ve given absolutely everything I can to this beautiful sport of tennis. I’m really happy with that. That is my success.
“Ash Barty the person has so many more dreams that 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.
“Now I think it’s important I get to enjoy the next phase of my life as Ash Barty the person, not Ash Barty the athlete.”