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Three-time slam champion Barty announces retirement from tennis at 25

Three-time grand slam champion Ashleigh Barty on Wednesday announced she would be retiring from tennis to "chase other dreams."

Sydney, 23 March 2022 (dpa/MIA) — Three-time grand slam champion Ashleigh Barty on Wednesday announced she would be retiring from tennis to “chase other dreams.”

“I will be retiring from tennis,” the 25-year-old Australian said in a video published on Instagram. “I’m so happy and I’m so ready, and I just know the moment, in my heart, for me as a person, is right.”

“I’m so grateful to everything that tennis has given me, it has 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,” Barty said.

In the six-minute video, an emotional Barty told close friend and former doubles partner Casey Dellacqua that she lost the “physical drive, the emotional want and everything it takes to challenge yourself at the very top level.”

“I just know that I am absolutely, I am spent. I just know physically I have nothing more to give and that for me is success. I’ve given absolutely everything I can to this beautiful sport of tennis and I’m really happy with that,” the world number one said.

In January, Barty became the first home winner of an Australian Open singles title in 44 years six months after becoming Australian in 41 years to win a women’s title at Wimbledon. She had previously won the French Open in 2019.

“To be able to win Wimbledon, which was my dream, the one true dream that I wanted in tennis, that really changed my prospective,” she said.

“I just had that gut feeling after Wimbledon, and had spoken to my team quite a lot about it, and there was just a little part of me that wasn’t quite satisfied, wasn’t quite fulfilled,” Barty said.

The 25-year-old has not competed since defeating American Danielle Collins in the Melbourne final.

Barty, who is from Ipswich in Queensland, was the number one-ranked WTA player for 114 consecutive weeks, the fourth-longest streak behind Steffi Graf, Serena Williams and Martina Navratilova. Overall she topped the rankings for 121 weeks.

Barty collected 15 titles in singles and 12 in doubles and earned a total career prize money of nearly 24 million dollars.

The Queenslander took a nearly two-year-long hiatus from tennis aged 18, during which she also played cricket with the Brisbane Heat in the Women’s Big Bash League, but said this time was different.

“I know I’ve done this before,” Barty said, “but in a very different feeling.”

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in a tweet said he spoke with Barty on Wednesday, thanking the champion “for inspiring a nation.”

“You are all class. Your achievements will be celebrated for all time. On behalf of all Australians, all the best to you & your fiancé Garry for your wedding & new life together,” Morrison added.

WTA head Steve Simon called Barty “one the great champions” of the women’s tour as he wished the Australian “only the very best.”

“Congratulations Ash Barty on an amazing career, capped off with an incredible Australian Open win,” Health Minister Greg Hunt tweeted. “Always hit the court with such amazing drive and will be long remembered in Australian sporting history.”

“Congratulations on an incredible career Ash Barty,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said. “A champion on and off the court and such a role model. From Ipswich and the western suburbs of Brisbane to the world stage. Thank you for inspiring us all to be our best.”

Barty said she would be holding a press conference on Thursday.

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