World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty, “absolutely exhausted,” retires at 25

World No. 1 women’s tennis player Ashleigh Barty surprised us on Wednesday by announcing her early retirement, at just 25 years old, declaring that she had fulfilled her dreams and was “absolutely exhausted.” “I’m so happy, and I’m so prepared and now I know in my heart that as a person this is the right decision,” the tearful Australian said in a video message made alongside his former double partner, Casey Dellacqua. . At the top of the WTA rankings since September 2019, Barty has won 15 individual titles throughout his career, including three Grand Slams (Roland-Garros 2019, Wimbledon 2021, Australian Open 2022).

In January, she became the first Australian in 44 years to win in Melbourne, joining the closed club of sacred Grand Slam players on three different surfaces. “Success for me is knowing that I’ve given everything, everything I’ve been able to do. I’m satisfied, I’m happy and I know how much work it takes to give the best of yourself,” said Barty, who also has twelve. . doubles titles, including a Grand Slam (US Open 2018).

“Absolutely sold out”

“It’s just that I don’t have that in me anymore. I don’t have the physical energy, the emotional will and everything else to push myself to the highest level,” she continued, adding that she was “absolutely exhausted.” statements echoing the psychological torment of Japan’s Naomi Osaka, the world’s No. 1. Barty, one of the most respected and beloved players on the women’s tour, made her name for the first time on the WTA Tour in doubles, with her dizzying variety of punches and stamina. She started playing tennis as a child in Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland, and won the Wimbledon Junior Championship at the age of 15 in 2011.

But her expectations of success were exceeded, and three years later she left tennis for cricket, playing in the Australian Women’s Professional Championship. She returned to tennis after a season away, signing her first Grand Slam victory at Roland-Garros in 2019 and becoming the world’s number one Australian No. 1 since Evonne Goolagong-Cawley 50 years earlier. She confirms this by winning at Wimbledon in 2021, before her triumph at the Australian Open in Melbourne in January.

“Indelible mark”

Just before Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf and Serena Williams had finished three years in a row at the helm. “Being able to win Wimbledon was my dream, my only real dream in tennis. It really changed my perspective. I had this intuition after Wimbledon and I talked a lot about it with my team,” the champion confessed. “There was a small part of me that wasn’t very happy (…) And then came the Australian Open challenge and I think for me this is the way to go. More perfect” to leave. The WTA, the body that oversees the women’s circuit, praised “an incredible sports ambassador”: “Thank you, @ashbarty, for the indelible mark you have left on the track, off the track and in our hearts.” , has said. on Twitter.

“I will miss you, my friend, you are different, special and we have had incredible moments,” said Romanian Simona Halep, who wonders if her former rival will not “win a Grand Slam title in golf.” his other passion. Scotsman Andy Murray said he was “happy for Ashleigh, but upset with tennis”: “What a player!” Reactions to this announcement were not limited to the world of tennis. “I want to thank you, Ash, for inspiring a country, for inspiring a nation, at a time when that country really needed a boost,” said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

The Australian said after her victory at the Australian Open that she wanted to take some time to reflect on her career, touring the United States in Indian Wells and Miami. Last year she got engaged to her longtime boyfriend, Garry Kissick, who was always in the stands when she played.

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