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Ashleigh Barty: Is this the end of an Era?

by Jones Udokoghi

It is no news that World number 1 Ashleigh Barty has retired from the courts of tennis and many reactions has followed suit as to what to expect from this departure.

The Australian, who has won three Grand Slam titles and is the reigning Wimbledon and Australian Open champion, revealed she was retiring from the sport in a Instagram video recorded with friend and former doubles partner Casey Dellacqua.

“I kind of wasn’t quite sure how I was going do this but I think so many times in my life both my professional and my personal, you’ve been there for me,” Barty told Dellacqua.

“And I just couldn’t think ‘there’s no right way, there’s no wrong way’. It’s just my way and this is perfect for me to share it with you to talk to you about it with my team, my loved ones, that I’ll be retiring from tennis.

“And so first time I’ve actually said it out loud and yeah, it’s hard to say, but I’m so happy and I’m so ready and I just know at the moment in my heart for me as a person, this is right.”

Barty however is retiring from the sport for a second time having previously retired from tennis in 2014 and the following year making a switch to playing cricket, batting for Brisbane Heat in the Women’s Big Bash League, before returning to tennis in 2016. She also plays golf off a handicap of four. She says this would help her to “chase other dreams”.

“I’ve had a lot of incredible moments in my career that have been pivotal moments,” Barty said. “Wimbledon last year changed a lot for me as a person and for me as an athlete when you work so 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 dream, my one true dream that I wanted in tennis, that really changed my perspective.”

Barty however has a record of 302 wins, 105 losses, 15 career titles, three GrandSlam titles, ranked number 1 in the world and has a career prize money of $23,829,071.

Ashleigh Barty: Is this the end of an era?

Ashleigh Barty

Fellow compatriots from the tennis world since the announcement have began to roll out their tributes.

“Ash, I have no words … actually you are showing your true class leaving tennis in this beautiful way,” Petra Kvitova wrote on her Twitter account.

“So much respect for you Ash!” Daria Saville wrote. “Your whole career you’ve done it your way! Always followed your heart and I hope you keep doing this!”

Karolina Pliskova added: “Congrats on an incredible career Ash. It was a privilege to share a court with you. Wishing you all the best in your next chapter, @ashbarty. You will be missed.”

Ashleigh Barty career timeline
April 2000: Begins playing tennis at age four in at the West Brisbane Tennis Centre with coach Jim Joyce.

April 2010: Turns professional aged just 14 and reaches semi-finals in only her second tournament.

July 2011: Defeats Irina Khromacheva in the girls singles final at Wimbledon 7-5 7-6.

September 2014: Announces she is going on hiatus from tennis as she takes up cricket and signs with Brisbane Heat for the inaugural Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) season in 2015.

February 2016: Announces she is returning to professional tennis at the end of the WBBL season, explaining the success she achieved so early in her career had overwhelmed her and caused her to take a step back.

February 2017: Wins her first WTA title at the Malaysian Open and rises to No. 17 in the world.

June 2019: Becomes the first Australian woman in 46 years to win the French Open after defeating Marketa Vongdrousova 6-1 6-3.

July 2021: Beats Karolina Pliskova 6-3 6-7 6-3 to become the first Australian woman to win Wimbledon in 41 years.

January 2022: Beats American Danielle Collins 6-3 7-6 (7-2) to win the Australian Open title, becoming the first home player to win the event for 44 years.

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