Ashleigh Barty, A Life Beyond Tennis

At the pinnacle of women’s tennis and just 25 years old, Ashleigh Barty announced to everyone’s surprise on Wednesday that she was retiring to “pursue other dreams”, perhaps on the grounds of cricket and golf, where ‘The Australian is also excellent.

Read on this topic: Tennis world number 1 Ashleigh Barty just 25. retired at the age of

“I am so grateful for what tennis has given me, it has given me all my dreams and more,” the world number one, who won the Open last January, explained in a video message. Australia, his third Grand Slam title. “But I know it’s time for me to break away, pursue other dreams and racket,” insisted the player, who won 15 WTA Tour titles.

to read again, Champion Tennis awaits Ashleigh Barty

One of the most popular players on the circuit, “Ash” also has an unusual profile, far from being relentless winning machines, some of whom, The Japanese began to derail under pressure, like Naomi Osaka, At the age of 17, he had put his career on hold for seventeen months to become a professional cricketer. In 2020, she opted not to return to competition after the first wave of COVID-19 and was in Australia for six months, taking the opportunity to win a golf tournament.

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Born on April 24, 1996, in Ipswich, Ashleigh Barty began playing tennis at the age of five in the nearby large city of Brisbane. But the spark came when she was “11 or 12 years old”, during an internship in Melbourne on the sidelines of the Australian Open. “Seeing how professional everything was and how dedicated everyone was to their work opened my eyes. I tasted it for the first time as a junior and I loved it! It made me want to know what I am capable of,” she said at the last Australian Open.

She quickly noticed, in 2011 she won Wimbledon in juniors at the age of 15.

supporter in cricket

But instead of continuing, she abruptly changed direction three years later, signing a professional contract with the Brisbane Heat team for the inaugural Women’s Championship cricket season. “To cut it short, I needed to find myself. I was a little lost during the first half of my career,” she explained in January.

Cricket opened up “a different perspective on the game” for him, but that didn’t extinguish tennis’s appeal. And the memory of Wimbledon finally convinced him to return to the little yellow ball. And it was in 2019 that one of the shortest players on the circuit (1.66m) achieved yet another stature.

She, who had not yet reached the second week of a Grand Slam tournament, became the only player to reach at least the Round of 16 in the four most prestigious tournaments on the calendar that year.

Better yet, he made his first major trophy offer at Roland-Garros.

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Like Graf and Williams

That year, she was the player with the most wins (56) with the title on all surfaces: on hard courts in Miami, on clay in Paris, on grass in Birmingham and indoors at the Masters.

After becoming world number one in September 2021, she was the first Australian to ascend the world tennis throne since Evonne Gulagong in 1976. The 2020 season was almost whitewashed since their semi-final exit in Melbourne, having played again in the Doha tournament before the covid pandemic wreaked havoc.

The Australian then preferred to stay on their island-continent rather than travel from health bubble to health bubble. Being absent from March 2020 to February 2021, he did not defend his title at Roland-Garros. During this period, he took out golf clubs and won a tournament on a course near Brisbane designed by the legendary Australian champion Greg Norman.

She Didn’t Feel “For It”

Barty held the top spot in the world until this week, with the WTA freezing rankings during the months of the pandemic. He completed his third consecutive year at the highest position in the world in 2021. With the much-anticipated title: the “real” Wimbledon.

to read again, Ashleigh Barty, history lives on at Wimbledon

Even before Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf and Serena Williams had completed three consecutive years at the top. “I feel very humbled. In fact, I don’t really feel on the same level as these champions. I’m still in a deep learning phase,” said the Australian humbly after his win in Melbourne.

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Barty never fails to relate his successes to those close to him and his team, most notably his coach, Craig Tizer. She got engaged last year to her longtime boyfriend, Gary Kisik, who always played when he was standing. After spending 119 weeks at the helm of world tennis, a new page in his life is opening up. His sports career as well?

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About the Author: Piers Parker

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