On March 23rd, 2022, Ashleigh Barty surprised all fans and announced her retirement from tennis at the age of 25 and as WTA world number one. Winning the Australian Open represented the end of a story that could have experienced new and incredible chapters, but which the Australian who decided to close and put back in the bookstore.
Barty was dominating the WTA Tour and she could have added many more Grand Slams to her collection, before her retirement.
Ashleigh Barty: “My new life is what I’ve always wanted”
In an interview with the New York Times, the three-time Grand Slam champion talked about her new life without regrets.
She said: “Honestly, the thing that surprised me the most was how comfortable I felt after retiring. I think in the beginning it was normal to be scared not knowing what my life would be like after tennis. I wasn’t sure how I was going to deal with this as I’m someone who likes to be organised, but overall it wasn’t a problem.
The most amazing thing in a positive way is that I adapted easily to this new lifestyle and it’s what I’ve always wanted. Retirement from number one? I think it was strange, but my position in the standings was probably the thing that mattered least to me at the time.
I made my dreams come true, everyone has their own and has a different way to define success. I knew I gave all I could, and I was lucky to live my childhood dream. It was time for a change. I didn’t want to keep playing tennis because that’s what I was expected to do and then blink and realize that maybe other things just slipped by.
2022 has certainly been a great year in this regard. A lot has happened off the court, and now I’m quite tired, and it’s scary to think that typically I’d be in the middle of a preseason preparing for an Australian summer which is upon us.”