Former World No. 1 and 3-time Grand Slam champion Ash Barty has not completed a year of retirement from tennis but it seems she has already left the sport behind. Barty, the champion at the 2021 Wimbledon Championships, was a notable absentee at this year’s Wimbledon and while the tennis fans certainly missed her presence at the Grand Slam, it might not have been mutual.
Weeks after winning her home slam, the 2022 Australian Open, Barty announced her retirement in March, with the finals in Melbourne being the last-ever match she played. While she ended her career on a winning note with two titles and an 11-0 record in 2022, the retirement was a big surprise to all tennis fans as the Australian was just 25 years old at the time of her retirement and what many expected to be a big career was cut short rather too quickly.
“Slim to none”: Ash Barty on watching tennis since retirement
Barty, one of the most candid people, did not hesitate from speaking openly about her diminishing interest in the sport. Australians this year at Wimbledon had a good outing with Nick Kyrgios finishing runner-up in the Men’s Singles while the all-Australian pair of Max Purcell and Matthew Ebden won the Men’s Doubles. In the Mixed Doubles, Samantha Stosur and Ebden also bagged the runners-up trophy in a brilliant campaign for Australians where they made it to 3 finals. Despite it, Barty did not tune in to watch her former colleagues.
“Sorry to disappoint. But since retiring I’ve probably watched as many matches as I did when I was playing, which was slim to none. Occasionally we’ll have it on as background noise, but it’s very seldom that I’ll sit down and watch a match from start to end with any interest. I hit enough tennis balls in my life. I don’t need to see others hitting them as well,” said Barty as per the Guardian.
Having recently played in the Golf Icons Series, Barty once again shot down any speculation about turning Pro in Golf and emphasised that she plays the sport for pleasure only. “Golf is a hobby and it always will be. I know what it takes to get to the very top of any sport, and I don’t have the desire or want to do the work required. And to be honest, I play golf for a good time,” added the Australian.
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