The tennis world did not expect this thunder. World number one Ashleigh Barty surprised everyone by announcing her retirement at the age of just 25 on Wednesday in a video message.
“Today is a difficult and emotional day for me as I announce my retirement from tennis,” the Australian said on Instagram. “I’m so happy, so ready and I know now in my heart it was the right decision as a person,” she said, weeping alongside her ex-husband, Casey Delacqua.
“I am so grateful for everything tennis has given me, it has given me all my dreams and more,” added the champion. “But I know it’s time for me to step away, pursue other dreams and eliminate speculation.” The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) tweeted: “Thank you for being an amazing ambassador for this sport and for women around the world.” “We will miss you so much, Ash.”
One of the tour’s most respected and beloved players, Barty quickly became the best, with her incredible array of slides, accurate serving and flawless forehands. The world number one since 2019, she has won three Grand Slam singles titles, at Roland Garros in 2019, then at Wimbledon in 2021 and at the Australian Open this year. In January, she became the first domestic champion in 44 years to win the Australian Open, joining the exclusive club for a Grand Slam tournament on three different surfaces.
“Twitter advocate. Proud student. Devoted internet specialist. Pop culture aficionado.”