Home Tennis

‘I was crying for a long time,’ Iga Swiatek reveals her emotional state after hearing about Ash Barty’s sudden retirement

World No.2 Iga Swiatek expresses her shock after hearing about Ash Barty's untimely retirement.

Ash Barty and Iga Swiatek

World No.1 Ash Barty shocked the world on March 23 by announcing that she’ll be retiring from professional tennis. At just 25, Barty won her 3rd grand slam title in Melbourne a couple of months ago and was just one US Open title away from completing a career slam. She also had the 4th longest streak as World No.1 for consecutive weeks.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The news came as a shock to not only fans but her contemporaries too. World No.2 Iga Swiatek, who is the outright favorite to be Barty’s successor revealed how emotional she got after hearing about Barty’s retirement news. She said that she was crying for a long time and was very sad with a hint of confusion.

“You already know that I like to cry, so I was crying for a long time,” the Pole said. “I mean, there was a lot of confusion in me, for sure. But also sadness because when I think of the player that is really complete in terms of physicality, mentality, tennis-wise, I always thought of Ash and I always looked up to her. I mean, I still do.”

Advertisement
Advertisement

She added that it’d be nice to compete against her more and said that the tennis community will miss her. “It would be really nice also to be able to compete against her for the next few years and actually try to play better and better, to be able to beat her slice. We’re going to miss her, for sure,” she said.

Iga Swiatek on becoming the next World No.1

Iga Swiatek

After Barty’s removal from the rankings post the Miami Open, Swiatek is well in line to become the new World No.1. She has to win just one game in Miami to secure the top spot. Talking about the No.1 ranking, Swiatek said that there is a lot of permutations and combinations involved and hence she isn’t thinking about that.

“I was already scared,” Swiatek said. “They said it may be possible that I’m going to be world No.1. Honestly, when we really thought about the situation and when we read all the news, all the rules that may apply, we realized there’s no sense in actually thinking about that right now because we have such a short time to prepare for another tournament. We’ve got to stay focused on our work.”

She said that it’d definitely be special to become the No.1 player but she never expected it to happen so quickly and in this way.

“It would be for me something special to be world No. 1. I never expected that, if it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen that way. It’s pretty weird for it to be my goal for two days and it may actually happen that quick,” she said.

Also read: ‘I want to be in the game till I’m in my 30s,’ Emma Raducanu adamant of having a long run in tennis unlike Ash Barty

Lakshya Chopra is an aspiring sports writer and enthusiast who covers tennis for FirstSportz. He is currently pursuing his B.Tech (Computer) degree from VIIT, Pune. He is the most passionate guy in the room when it comes to Sports. He is hugely inspired by Rafael Nadal.