TENNIS star Ash Barty has announced her shock retirement aged just 25.
The world No.1 broke the surprise news during an Instagram video while speaking with former doubles partner Casey Dellacqua.Ash Barty has announced her shock retirement from tennis aged just 25[/caption] She is the reigning Wimbledon and Australian Open champion[/caption]
But she says she is calling time on her career to “chase other dreams”.
Barty said: “Success for me is knowing I’ve given everything I can – I’m fulfilled, I’m happy, and I know how much work it takes to bring the best out of yourself.
“I’ve said it to my team multiple times, it’s just that I don’t have that in me, I don’t have the physical drive, the emotional want – everything it takes to challenge yourself at the top level anymore.
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“I am spent… physically I had nothing more to give.
“I’ve given absolutely everything I can to this beautiful sport of tennis.”
It is the second time that Barty has retired from the sport after previously walking away as a teen in 2014.
She returned two years later and rapidly rose through the rankings.
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Barty added: “I know people may not understand it and I’m OK with that because for me, Ash Barty the person has so many dreams that 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, it’s where I’ve grown up.
“I’ll never ever ever stop loving tennis, it’ll always be a massive part of my life, but now I think it’s important that I get to enjoy the next phase of my life as Ash Barty the person, not Ash Barty the athlete.”
WTA boss Steve Simon said: “Ashleigh Barty with her signature slice backhand, complemented by being the ultimate competitor, has always led by example through the unwavering professionalism and sportsmanship she brought to every match.
“With her accomplishments at the Grand Slams, WTA Finals, and reaching the pinnacle ranking of No1 in the world, she has clearly established herself as one the great champions of the WTA.”