3-time Grand Slam champion Ash Barty shocked the world when she announced her decision to step away from the game forever. The 25-year old who had won the 2022 Australian Open a few weeks ago, believed that her hunger to do more was diminished having achieved all of her dream in tennis and now she wishes to pursue other things in her life.
Barty’s announcement sent shockwaves as nobody expected the Australian to quit at a point when she is in her ‘purple-patch’ and tributes and disappointments from fellow players and former players came in as they felt that apart from a fantastic career that Ash had for which she was congratulated, she also robbed the tennis fans from her brilliant and dominant game style that saw her be the World No. 1 for 112 consecutive weeks from her total of 119 weeks as she became just the second player after Justine Henin to retire as World No. 1.
Barty had been at the top of the rankings for more than two years and despite missing all of the tennis action since she won the Australian Open this year, she was unbothered at the top. With the latest update of rankings taking place after the conclusion of the 2022 Indian Wells Open, Barty led the rankings with 7980 points followed by World No. 2 Iga Swiatek who has 5776 points having won the title in Indian Wells.
However, with the retirement of the Australian announced yesterday, the WTA has confirmed that post the conclusion of the 2022 Miami Open, Barty’s name will be removed from the rankings that will see a new player replace Ash at the top.
Ash Barty choses her favourite to replace her as the World No. 1
With the question lingering who will replace the Australian at the top of the rankings, Barty herself hinted on who she would like to be replaced by. The frontrunners for the rank are currently Iga Swiatek, Maria Sakkari and Paula Badosa, all of whom have been in great form and if one of them clinches the title in Miami, they can certainly be at the top of the rankings.
“I know that if it is Iga, there is no better person. She’s an incredible person, a great tennis player. The way that she’s brought this fresh, fearless energy onto the court has been incredible. I loved testing myself against her. I loved playing her. I loved practicing with her and spending time with her team. She’s a brilliant person and was one of the first to message me, which is really nice.
“I think she thoroughly deserves it. I hope that she can take it and still be here, do it her own way, and really chase what she’s after in her career and her dreams,” said Barty during her interaction with the press having announced her retirement yesterday.