Ashleigh Barty, the Australian star, is currently ranked number 1 in the women’s tennis ranking. She won the home Australian Open title in January this year. But what comes as a piece of shocking news to the fans, Barty has decided to drop curtains on a very illustrious career, that too at the age of 25.
Barty became the second reigning World No.1 ranked woman to retire after Justine Henin. Other notable retirements in the tennis world at such a young age are – Kim Clijsters and Bjorn Borg. Clijsters retired for the first time at the age of 23 but returned two years later and won the US-Open title back-to-back. Bjorn Borg, on the other hand, retired at the age of 26 in 1983, but later returned to the professional circuit after a gap of eight years.
Notably, Barty has been at the top of the Women’s ranking for 121 weeks. In the history of the Hologic WTA tour, this is the fourth-longest streak after Steffi Graf (186 weeks), Serena Williams (186 weeks) and Martina Navratilova (156 weeks). The streak is also the seventh longest of all time. Barty has 15 Titles in singles and 12 in doubles, with French Open, Wimbledon and Australian Open to her name.
Ash Barty has taken a break from professional tennis previously also when she was aged 18. During a 21-month break, she tried her hands at cricket playing for Brisbane Heat in the Women’s Big Bash League.
The Australian Open’s official Twitter page posted a video clip of the world number 1 where the star spoke about her retirement. In her words from the clip – “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.’ Physically, I have nothing more to give. I’ve given absolutely everything I have to this beautiful sport of tennis, and I’m really happy with that. For me that is my success.”
She also said that the decision on her part was to experience life as a normal teenaged girl and have some normal experiences. Wile it was tough for her to take the decision she felt this is the right time to call quits on a wonderful career.
As soon as the video reached the fans, they started reacted emotionally stating how much they are going to miss her.
I will miss Ash Barty. What a phenomenal player and tactician. But this also further underscores how phenomenal the careers of the Big 3 have been. While Barty burned out at 25, the Big 3 kept at it so much longer.
— David Zagorski (@dj_zagorski) March 23, 2022
Wow. Although it comes as a shock to a lot of us Ash is leaving the sport on her own terms, a true champion. I hope you’ll be around the game at some point as so many girls have looked up to you for inspiration. Good luck for the future.❤️❤️
— South Qld Tennis Academy (@SQTA2021) March 23, 2022
Wish you the very best for your future, Ash! You leave the sport a little poorer for we will no longer get to see you play & be the champion you are. But we are all the richer for being lucky enough to watch you create magic & inspire a new generation of young tennis players ❤
— Mary Gorgens (@MaryGorgens) March 23, 2022
Congratulations on a great career, Ash! Wishing you the best in your future endeavours!
— Tulasi Pavan (@tulasipavan) March 23, 2022
Love you so much Ash Barty! Thanks for all of the beautiful tennis! You will be missed
— Kimberly Couch (@KimberlyCouch8) March 23, 2022
Some will say too young to retire but Ash has played at a competitive level in this sport for nearly 20 years. You have done us so proud – no regrets!
— Gary Leeson (@garylocp) March 23, 2022