Ashleigh Barty is hanging up her racket.
Barty, who according to the Women's Tennis Association has been the No. 1-ranked player in the world for 114 consecutive weeks, has shockingly announced her retirement from tennis at age 25. The news comes after Barty won the Australian Open in January, and she opened up about the decision in a conversation with Casey Dellacqua shared on Instagram.
"I know how much work it takes to bring the best out of yourself, and I've said it to my team multiple times, it's just I don't have that in me anymore," she said. "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 that I am spent. Physically, I have nothing more to give."
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Before this year's Australian Open, Barty also won singles titles at the 2019 French Open and 2021 Wimbledon.
In her discussion with Dellacqua, Barty said she's been thinking about potentially retiring for a "long time" and that winning at Wimbledon changed her perspective because this was "the one true dream that I wanted in tennis." After that victory, she said there was a "little part of me that wasn't quite satisfied, wasn't quite fulfilled," and she felt winning the Australian Open was a "perfect" cap to her tennis career. "I want to chase after some other dreams that I've always wanted to do," she said.
Barty didn't explain what she might do next, but she said it won't "necessarily involve traveling the world, being away from my family, being away from my home," even though tennis will "always be a massive part of my life."
Dellacqua noted fans would likely be shocked by the decision considering Barty is "one of the most marketable athletes in the world." WTA CEO Steve Simon called Barty "one the great champions of the WTA," adding, "We will miss her."
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