Ash Barty shocks the world by announcing her retirement at the age of 25. The No.1 ranked tennis player in the world chose to pull the plug while on top. Just two months after the Australian Open, winning her third Grand Slam singles title, reported ESPN . Barty spoke in great detail during her interview about her goals and aspirations going forward.
— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) March 23, 2022
“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,” Barty said, her voice shaky at times, during a six-minute video posted on her Instagram account Wednesday in Australia.
The Australian native emphasized it was time to “chase other dreams,” and that she had nothing left in the tank to give to the sport. Barty believes that she was dedicated and has given the sport all she possibly could have. While this is admirable, calling it quits while she’s still ahead, many may find this odd. Many questions her mindset towards the decision. However, many also admire the passion and understanding she has to pursue her life goals. There’s a lesson in Barty’s story if one searches deep enough to find it.
Ash Barty’s Life after Tennis
Ash Barty announces her engagement to trainee gold professional Gary Kissick in November, prior to the Australian Open. Many believe she’s walking away to be with the love of her life and start building a family. One can understand how difficult it may be to still try to remain the greatest at their respective sport while also becoming a parent. It may force one to prioritize and sacrifice one of the two.
“It’s the first time I’ve actually said it out loud, and yeah, it’s hard to say,” Barty said to former doubles partner, Casey Dellacqua . “I don’t have the physical drive, the emotional want, and everything it takes to challenge yourself at the very top of the level anymore. I am spent.”
However, walking away from the game is not too foreign for Barty. While much younger, Barty became the Wimbledon junior champion at the age of 15. However, she left the tournament completely for almost two years due to burnout, according to ESPN. She admits the pressure was very overwhelming along with traveling. It seems this lifestyle is a lot to ask of any teenager no matter how successful they are.
While she stepped away from the game of tennis, she began playing cricket back home. However, this was short-lived as she eventually picked up a racket and returned back to tennis.
“I know I’ve done this before,” Barty said. “But in a very different feeling. I’m so grateful for everything that tennis has given me. It’s given me all of my dreams, plus more, but I know that the time is right now for me to step away and chase other dreams and to, yeah, put the rackets down.”
Barty’s Testimony to Who She is as a Person
Many don’t realize what she’s done is what thousands dream of doing daily. Many dream of leaving their job or situation due to overwhelming pressure and anxiety. The majority of athletes are held to certain stigmas and unrealistic expectations. Barty’s decision to retire at the top of her game is her controlling her narrative and many may find inspiration within that.
“I’ll never, ever, ever stop loving tennis,” she said. “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.”