Tennis

Ashleigh Barty Stuns Women’s Tennis With Shock Announcement

The current World Number 1 and Australian Open winner, Ashleigh Barty, has stunned the world of women’s tennis by announcing her immediate retirement from the professional game.

The three-time Grand Slam champion was a hot favorite to add to that total this year at the French Open, Wimbledon and US Open, but now it seems she will kick start a new life away from the pro circuit citing other unexplored avenues so wants to look into.

Aged just 25, Barty is one of very few women to have won a Grand Slam event on hard court, clay and grass and her form was such that many experts felt she had an opportunity to add several more titles to her already extensive collection.

Now though, it appears her life will head in a different direction and with it, the women’s tennis scene has seen a seismic shift in odds for the three remaining Grand Slam titles this year.

Iga Swiatek is now the new favorite to win the French Open with BetMGM Sportsbook.

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January Glory Hard To Top?

Having already tasted success at Wimbledon and the French Open, Barty landed her third Grand Slam success at the Australian Open in January.

Her emotion at winning her ‘home’ slam event was clear as she was in tears after the victory, quickly endearing her to a growing legion of Australian fans at home.

However, did January’s glory take too much out of Barty, even at the tender age of 25?

In a social media post, she revealed:

“I don’t have the physical drive, the emotional want and everything it takes to challenge yourself at the very top level any more. I am spent,” Barty explained.

“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.”

Second Retirement?

It is not the first time that Barty has walked away from the professional tennis circuit.

Back in 2014 she announced that she was taking a two-year break from the sport and was going to play cricket professionally in Brisbane.

After two years playing cricket, Barty then returned to tennis in 2017 and within two years had landed the French Open title and a victory at the WTA finals which saw her move to top spot in the rankings.

Barty then had another enforced break at the start of the pandemic, but returned at Wimbledon in 2021 to win the famous grass court tournament, and then seven months later, she landed her emotional victory in Melbourne in front of her home support.

Only Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams of her peers have managed to match her success by winning Grand Slam titles on all three surfaces.

Unlike other tennis stars that have retired at a young age, such as Justine Henin-Hardenne, Barty will go out on top. Her last tournament was that Australian Open win and she has been ranked the top female tennis player in the world for 114 weeks.

She’s won more titles than any other player on the women’s tour since 2017 and is the current Wimbledon and Australian Open champion.

New Career?

What Barty will do next is open to debate. Already an accomplished cricketer, the sporting all-rounder is also a fine golfer, playing off scratch and she has won a number of local tournaments in Australia.

However, she is also a huge Australian Rules Football fan and speculation has arisen in Australia that she could be ready to move into the AFLW, the women’s professional football league.

There will also be plenty of media opportunities for her should she decide to move into that field, or she could even make the switch back to cricket.

Opportunities lie in abundance for one of the most popular and unassuming athletes in the tennis world and despite her short career, she has earned the opportunity to decide what she would like to do for the next stage of her life.

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