In a surprise to many, Ashleigh Barty, the No. 1 ranked women’s tennis player in the world, has retired.
“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 said in a conversation with tennis broadcaster and tennis player Casey Dellacqua that was shared via Instagram.
Barty continued, “I’m so grateful to everything tennis has given me. It’s given me all of my dreams plus more, but I know the time is right now for me to step away and chase other dreams and put the rackets down.”
In the conversation with Dellacqua, Barty explained that she wants to chase other dreams, that she has given everything she can to the sport of tennis and that she doesn’t have the physical drive or emotional want to challenge herself at the top level anymore.
Barty said her win at Wimbledon in 2021 changed a lot for her as a person and an athlete, and her win at the Australian Open this year made her decision to retire — which she admitted she had been thinking about for a long time — easier to make.
“Being able to win Wimbledon, which was my dream, 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. And then came the challenge of the Australian Open. That for me just feels like the most perfect way, my perfect way, to celebrate what an amazing journey my tennis career has been,” Barty explained during the conversation.
She continued, “I will never, ever stop loving tennis. It’ll always be a massive part of my life, but now I think it’s important that I get to enjoy the next phase of my life as Ash Barty the person, not Ash Barty the athlete.”
In an email to FN, Fila addressed the retirement of its star ambassador.
“Fila congratulates World No. 1 and global tennis star Ash Barty on the successful completion of her tennis career. Barty has made an incredible impact on and off the court since she first started playing professionally in 2010, and Fila is incredibly proud to have been part of her achievements in the sport. We stand by her as she takes on new endeavors and will support her as she continues to make a mark in her local community and as a role model for young women around the world,” the brand said in an emailed statement.