February 4, 2023

World number one Ash Barty, 25, announces her retirement from tennis

World number one Ash Barty, 25, announces her retirement from tennis

Ash PartyThe women’s tennis player, ranked No. 1 in the world, announced her retirement from the sport at the age of 25.

Barty said emotionally Video posted on social media on Wednesday: “I am very happy and very ready. I only know right now in my heart for me as a person that this is true.”

The announcement comes less than two months after she won the Australian Open, her third Grand Slam singles title.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever said it out loud, yeah, it’s hard to say,” Barty told her ex-husband, Casey Delacqua, in a video interview. But I am very happy, and I am also ready.

“I don’t have the physical drive, the emotional desire and everything it takes to challenge yourself at the highest level anymore. I’ve spent.”

Barty, who left tennis in 2014 to pursue a professional career in cricket but returned to the sport two years later, won three major singles titles on three different surfaces – on clay at the 2019 French Open, and on grass at Wimbledon last year and beyond. Hard courts at Melbourne Park at the Australian Open in January.

The WTA Tour said Barty had ranked No. 1 for 114 consecutive weeks. She is the second woman to retire and is the number one in the world. Justin Henin He retired on May 14, 2008, after spending 61 consecutive weeks at #1. Henin was also 25 years old.

The WTA commented on Barty’s Instagram post, “Thank you for being an amazing ambassador for this sport and for women around the world. We will miss you so much Ash.”

Barty said tennis has “gave me all my dreams, plus more, but I know now is the time to step away and chase other dreams, and stop the rackets.”

In her Instagram caption, she noted, “More to come tomorrow at my press conference.”

Earlier this month, Barty announced she was withdrawing from the BNP Paribas Opens at the Indian Wells and Miami Opens, citing the need for continued recovery after winning the Australian Open.

“Unfortunately, my body didn’t heal the way I would have liked it to be after the Australian Open, and I wasn’t able to adequately prepare for the Indian Wells-Miami match,” Barty said on March 3. The level necessary to win these events and as a result I decided to withdraw from both tournaments.

“I love these events and am sad that I wasn’t there to compete but the focus has to be on my right body.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.