The world no. 1 Australian tennis player, Ashleigh Barty’s sudden announcement of retirement from tennis at the age of 25 was a shock to many. She started playing tennis at an early age of five, under the guidance of the coach Jim Joyce, at the West Brisbane Tennis Centre. Ashleigh has incredible hand-eye coordination and focus, which was a great advantage for winning many titles.
Ashleigh started her professional career in 2010 with her first WTA qualifying event at the U.S. Open and reached three Grand Slam doubles (U.S. Open, Australian Open, and Wimbledon) finals in 2013.
She proved to be a shining star in multiple sports. After winning a couple of singles and doubles titles, she took a gap from tennis in 2014 after the US Open championship and had a successful break-in with the Brisbane Heat cricket team in the women’s big bash league. Ashleigh also won a golf tournament and later shifted back to tennis in 2016.
In 2017, Ashleigh clinched her WTA singles title at Kuala Lumpur as a qualifier and later won the second and the third titles too in 2018, ranking 15th in the world. In 2019, she won the maiden grand slam at the French Open, defeating Czech Marketa Vondrousova in the final to become the first Australian woman in 46 years to ace at the Roland Garros.
A major victory touched her feet, when Ashleigh Barty became the world’s number one Australian tennis player in the Fed Cup final in 2019 after Australia’s defeat from France in 1993. On curbing this victory, she said that she had fulfilled her dreams and was “spent physically”. The covid-19 pandemic wave became a hurdle to her 2020 tournament’s participation. Ashleigh’s comeback in 2021 made her the world number one for three consecutive years.
On March 23, 2022, Ashleigh Barty posted a video on Instagram that said, “Today is difficult and filled with emotion for me as I announce my retirement from tennis.” On being asked about her future plans, she said, “I have always wanted to have the time to contribute more in other ways. You’ll have to wait and see, I’m not giving you everything right now.” She called herself “a homebody”, for spending more time with her parents.
This retirement by Ashleigh Barty is very much related to that of Nico Rosberg, an F1 racing champion. He has crowned the world champion in 2016, and just a few days later he also announced his retirement. Maybe this is the new trend among sportspersons to touch the sky once in their career and then retire. Who knows we may see many such instances in the future!