WORLD number one Ashleigh Barty has retired from tennis after securing glory on home soil in the Australian Open.
Barty bows out aged just 25, having won the Aussie Open, the French Open and Wimbledon.Ashleigh Barty (left) won her first Wimbledon title in 2021[/caption] Barty’s boyfriend Garry Kissick (centre) is her biggest fan[/caption]
At those tournaments, she was supported all the way by boyfriend Garry Kissick, who comes from a sporting background himself.
And despite no longer playing tennis, she has plenty to look forward to in 2022 as her and her boyfriend have announced they are getting married.
Who is Ash Barty’s boyfriend Garry Kissick?
Garry Kissick is an aspiring professional golfer who works as an irrigation technician for the greens of the Brookwater Golf & Country Club in Brisbane.
Not too much is known about him, but he is a keen football fan who is noticeable for wearing a Liverpool cap when he watches his fiancee play.
Kissick is also part of the PGA trainee programme.
The couple met in 2016 when Barty visited Brookwater to play a round of golf.
A year later, they made their relationship public when they attended the John Newcombe awards together.
Kissick also helps Barty out during practice whenever she can, becoming known as her unofficial ball boy.
A friend told Women’s Day in 2019: “They’re really the most normal couple you’ll find at that level in tennis.
“It’s refreshing because you often see mismatched liaisons in this sport.
“It’s funny to watch Ash practising at the big tournaments with her coach and see Garry pop up as the ball boy. He’ll skip back and forth, helping out between their rallies, encouraging her by passing on cricket scores or cracking jokes.
“Without even meaning to, Garry helps Ash play her very best tennis, because there’s certainly no pressure from him.”
Does Ash Barty have any children?
In 2020, Ashleigh Barty brought a baby to her press conference following her Australian Open semi-final defeat against to Sofia Kenin.
However, she is not yet a mother herself.
Barty said of baby Olivia: “It’s my newest niece. My sister just had her about 11, 12 weeks ago. Yeah, this is what life is all about. It’s amazing.
“It’s been a hell of a summer.
“I mean, if you would have told me three weeks ago that we would have won a tournament in Adelaide, made the semifinals of the Australian Open, I’d take that absolutely every single day of the week.
“I mean, perspective is a beautiful thing. Life is a beautiful thing.
“[Olivia] brought a smile to my face as soon as I came off the court. I got to give her a hug. It’s all good.”
Why did Ash Barty retire?
Ash Barty explained that winning Wimbledon in 2021 was her lifetime dream and she no longer has the motivation to play at the highest level.
She added that victory in the Australian Open in front of her home crowd felt the perfect way to bow out of tennis.
Barty told Dellacqua: “It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time and I’ve had a lot of incredible moments in my career that have been pivotal moments.
“Wimbledon last year changed a lot for me as a person and for me as an athlete when you work so hard your whole life for one goal and I’ve been able to share that with so many incredible people.
But to win Wimbledon was my dream, the one, true dream that I wanted in tennis. That really changed my perspective and 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 which wasn’t quite satisfied and fulfilled.
“Then came the challenge of the Australian Open and that felt like the perfect way – my perfect way – to celebrate what an amazing journey my tennis career has been. I want to chase after some other dreams I’ve always wanted to do and always had that really healthy balance, but I’m really excited.
“There was a perspective shift in me in this second phase of my career that my happiness wasn’t dependant on results and success for me is knowing I’ve given absolutely 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, I don’t have it in me anymore. I don’t have the physical drive, the emotional want and everything it takes to challenge yourself at the very top level anymore.
“I just know I am spent, I know physically I have nothing more to give and that for me is success.
“I’ve given everything I can to this beautiful sport of tennis and I’m really happy with that – and, for me, that is my success.
“I know people may not understand it and I’m okay with that because I know Ash Barty the person has so many dreams she wants to chase after which don’t involve travelling the world, being away from my family, being away from my home, where I’ve always wanted to be.
“I’ll never stop loving tennis, it will 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.
“It was hard, but it’s right, and I know that brought me lots of comfort knowing it is right for me. I’m very excited.”