Ashleigh Barty walks away from Tennis at 25

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Ashleigh Barty walks away from Tennis at 25

Ashleigh Barty has decided to call time on her professional tennis career at the age of 25 citing the fulfillment of her tennis goals and fatigue with life on the Tour.

Ash Barty, as she is commonly known, is currently the highest ranked player in women’s tennis. Her streak at the top currently stands at 114 consecutive weeks and 121 weeks in total as the world’s number one.

Barty’s current reign as No.1 is the fourth-longest streak in the history of the WTA Tour, behind Steffi Graf (186 weeks), Serena Williams (186) and Martina Navratilova (156). Her 121 total weeks are No.7 all time.

Barty won three major singles titles on three different surfaces during her career – the 2019 French Open, the 2021 Wimbledon and the 2022 Australian Open. In all, she collected 15 titles in singles and 12 in doubles which is more than any other active player in that span.

“Ash Barty the person has so many dreams she wants to chase after that don’t necessarily involve travelling the world, being away from my family, being away from my home, which is where I’ve always wanted to be,” an emotional Barty said in a video posted on her Instagram account.

“I’ll never, ever stop loving tennis, it’s been a massive part of my life, but I think it’s important that I get to enjoy the next part of my life as Ash Barty the person, not Ash Barty the athlete.”

It is the second time the Australian has announced her “retirement” from the sport after walking away from the game as a teenager in late-2014 after becoming disaffected with the Tour.

Her 21-month sabbatical from tennis included a stint playing cricket with the Brisbane Heat of the Women’s Big Bash League.

She returned in 2016 to continue her rapid rise up the tennis rankings.

“I’m so grateful for tennis, it’s given me all of my dreams, plus more, but I know the time is right now for me to step away and chase other dreams and to put the rackets down.”

It’s extremely rare for a professional athlete in any sport to step away while at the very top of her game, but Ashleigh Barty leaves with a set of credentials that will almost certainly land her in the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
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