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No comeback for Barty, enjoying ‘comfortable’ retirement

You might see her in Melbourne, but she won’t be defending her title

Ash Barty Australia’s world number one Ashleigh Barty smiles during her retirement announcement in Brisbane, Australia (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

If you were hoping for Ash Barty to reverse her retirement, you’re out of luck for the near future.

After her emotional departure from the tour in March 2022, the Australian was understandably anxious about this new chapter of her life – but she’s now confirmed that she’s very “comfortable” with her decision.

“To be honest, I think what has surprised me most is how comfortable I’ve been,” Barty told the New York Times.

“I think there was probably a normal fear or uncertainty in not knowing what my life would look like after tennis after being so focused.

“I was a bit unsure how I would deal with that because I am a person who likes to be organised. There was probably a little bit of fear in that, but overall, that hasn’t been an issue, a concern or a worry.

“What’s been most surprising in a good way is that I’ve slipped quite seamlessly into this life that’s just like everyone else, which is kind of always what I wanted.

“The more time I’ve had to sit and think and absorb this year, I think it is never in the sense of me competing professionally again. But I’ll never not be involved in the sport. So I think that’s where I’ll always get my tennis fix, that taste of the sport that gave me so much.”

Barty: It was time to explore

And the 26-year-old had a fascinating insight into her choice to retire – seeing it as giving other women the chance of living out their dreams rather than being selfish.

“I achieved my dreams. Everyone has different dreams and different ways of defining success.

“But for me, I knew that I gave everything I could, and I was fortunate to live out my ultimate childhood dream, and now it was time for me to explore what else was out there and not be, I suppose, greedy in a sense of keep playing tennis because that’s what I was expected to do, and then you blink and maybe the other things have passed you by.”

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