BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Ash Barty signaled the end of photo opportunities at her retirement news conference, in a typically low-fuss, factual style: “Well, that will.”
A day after revealing in a video posted on social media that she was leaving the women’s tennis tour after topping the rankings for the past two years, and winning two of the last three Grand Slam singles titles, 25 Barty, year old, at a Brisbane City news conference on Thursday.
Barty’s decision to retire shocked nearly everyone involved in the sport, from fans to players and officials, and prompted the obvious question: why now?
In the Instagram video, he pointed to the dreams and challenges ahead for player Ash Barty instead of Ash Barty. Those who pressed for a few more details at the official news conference received a repeated response: “You’ll have to wait and see. Be patient.”
So there are no major updates and there is still a lot of speculation as to what’s next for Barty, who has been asked to be removed from the WTA rankings.
She has an off wedding date — she announced her engagement to aspiring golfer Gary Kissick last November — but she’s not making it public just yet.
Another future project is spending more time working with Indigenous children, Barty said, because “that’s what lights me up inside.”
Barty said achieving her long-held dream of winning the Wimbledon singles championship last year changed the course of her career. It hastened his retirement, but not before “one last crack” before winning the Australian Open and ending a 44-year drought for Australian players in their domestic prime.
“After Wimbledon, my outlook changed a lot,” she said. “It was a beautiful challenge to try to play the Australian Open and try to win the Australian Open, which was always another goal of mine
“Doing this as a team, doing this with people that mean a lot to me, was incredible.”
It was no surprise to Craig Taizer, Barty’s longtime coach.
Tyzer told a low-key, laid-back outdoor news conference, where both the coach and the star player wearing T-shirts and shorts, he was listening to Barty’s retirement as he won his first major singles title at the French Open in 2019. had won. ,
And then Barty returned to tennis after a nearly two-year sabbatical starting in 2014 and included a shot at becoming a full-time professional cricketer.
“It doesn’t come as a shock to me. Ash does his own thing,” said Tayser. “I think it is the right time.
“I think he won the Australian Open for everyone, not just him. I think it was for everyone else. I doubt there’s anything left in the tank for him.”
But when Barty hit the winning shot to secure a straight-sets win over Daniel Collins in the Australian Open final in January, he admitted he wasn’t entirely sure it would be the last of his professional career.
“That moment, I was completely engrossed. It was such an incredible moment to share with so many people in the crowd,” she said. “That crowd, the Australian Open final, was like nothing I had ever played before.
“It was so much fun enjoying that moment with them. A really nice way to end.”
In total, Barty won 15 tour-level titles in singles and 12 in doubles. He spent 121 weeks at No. 1 in the rankings, including 114 in a row, and finished with a record of 25 wins in his last 26 matches.
“My name will be removed from the list in the next ranking cycle,” she said. “It’s going to be an exciting time for the WTA Tour with the new No. 1. Now it’s time for me to leave and move on to other things.”
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