She's No. 1 in Tennis—and Calling It Quits

25-year-old Ashleigh Barty of Australia retires at the top of her game
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2022 7:11 AM CDT
She's No. 1 in Tennis—and Calling It Quits
Australia's Ashleigh Barty poses with her trophy after winning the women's singles final at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, on July 10, 2021.   (Pete Nichols/Pool Via AP, File)

(Newser) – The top-ranked women’s singles tennis player is retiring at the ripe old age of 25. "Today is difficult and filled with emotion for me as I announce my retirement from tennis," Australia's Ashleigh Barty wrote Wednesday on Instagram. "It's hard to say but I'm so happy and I'm so ready and I just know at the moment in my heart for me as a person this is right," she adds in a video in which she appears opposite former doubles partner Casey Dellacqua. She's certainly going out on a high note. Barty nabbed her third grand-slam title in a big way earlier this year, becoming the first Australian to win the Australian Open in 44 years.

That also meant she joined "tennis royalty's most exclusive club with a Grand Slam crown on three different surfaces," per AFP. Barty, the world No. 1 for more than two years, won the French Open in 2019 and Wimbledon in 2021, meaning she's the reigning champ in two of the four Grand Slams. She tells Dellacqua that she always dreamed of winning Wimbledon, and once she did, "there was just a little part of me that wasn't satisfied." With her victory at the Australian Open, "that for me just feels like the most perfect way, my perfect way, to celebrate what an amazing journey my tennis career has been."

The recently-engaged Barty, who left tennis at 18 to become a professional cricket player, adds, "I know that the time is right now for me to step away and chase other dreams." "We will miss you so much, Ash," the Women's Tennis Association commented on the post. "Thank you for being an incredible ambassador for this sport and for women around the world." In a statement, per Fox Sports, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison thanked Barty "for inspiring a generation of young people and particularly a generation of young Indigenous people in this country." (Read more Ashleigh Barty stories.)

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