Australian Tennis Star Ashleigh Barty, World No. 1, Announces Retirement at 25: 'I'm So Ready'
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Tennis player Ashleigh Barty is stepping away from the sport.
The 25-year-old Australian tennis star and three-time Grand Slam singles champ, who is currently ranked number one in the world by the Women's Tennis Association, announced on social media Tuesday that she is retiring.
"Today is difficult and filled with emotion for me as I announce my retirement from tennis," Barty captioned a clip on Instagram.
"I am so thankful for everything this sport has given me and leave feeling proud and fulfilled. Thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way, I'll always be grateful for the lifelong memories that we created together 🤍," she continued.
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In a six-minute interview with her former doubles partner Casey Dellacqua, Barty explained that the decision to retire came after achieving her "true dream" of winning the Wimbledon Championships in July 2021 and taking the top prize at the Australian Open in January.
Barty explained that it's the "perfect way" to end her career, realizing that it's now time for her to "chase other dreams."
"I know how much work it takes to bring the best out of yourself," the tennis star said. "I've said it to my team multiple times – I just don't have that in me anymore. I don't have the physical drive, the emotional want and everything it takes to challenge yourself at the very top of the level any more. I am spent."
"That, for me, is success. I've given absolutely everything I can to this beautiful sport of tennis," she continued. "I'm so happy, and I'm so ready. I just know at the moment, in my heart, for me as a person, this is right."
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The retirement news comes less than two months after Barty's victory at the Australian Open over Danielle Collins. With her win, she became the first Australian to win the tournament in over four decades. Australia's last home win came from Chris O'Neil in 1978.
It also marked her third Grand Slam title. She previously won the 2019 French Open women's tournament, as well as the 2021 Wimbledon Championship. Additionally, Barty's current reign of 114 consecutive weeks ranked No.1 is the fourth-longest streak in the history of the Hologic WTA Tour.
"I'll never, ever, ever stop loving tennis," Barty said in her retirement announcement. "It will always be a massive part of my life, but now I think it's important I get to enjoy the next phase of my life as Ash Barty the person, not Ash Barty the athlete."