Ash Barty development with Casey Dellacqua emerges after return to Wimbledon is confirmed

Wimbledon officials confirmed the former champ's exciting return.

Fresh details have emerged about Ash Barty's highly anticipated return to Wimbledon, with former doubles partner and good friend Casey Dellacqua revealing they will be teaming up for the legends invitational event. Barty had already been confirmed as a commentator for the grand slam at the All England Club, but officials announced on Thursday that she'll also be playing in the exhibition event at Wimbledon, in news that was celebrated across the tennis world.

“Reunited with the Wimbledon grass,” Wimbledon announced. “Delighted to have our 2021 singles champion Ash Barty returning for this year’s Invitational Doubles.” Barty’s triumph at Wimbledon broke a 41-year drought for Australian women's tennis at the hallowed tournament. Evonne Goolagong Cawley, who is Barty's mentor and idol, was the last Aussie woman to win the title in 1980 before Barty broke through.

Casey Dellacqua has confirmed that she will team up with Ash Barty in the legends doubles exhibition event at Wimbledon. Pic: Getty
Casey Dellacqua has confirmed that she will team up with Ash Barty in the legends doubles exhibition event at Wimbledon. Pic: Getty

Barty stunned the tennis world in 2022 when she announced she was retiring from the sport - just two months after winning the Australian Open for her third grand slam title. But the news that she's returning to the courts at Wimbledon next month left her legion of fans delighted, with Dellacqua revealing that she will team up with Barty in the legends invitational doubles event that kicks off on July 9.

“I can announce that the band’s back together, ABCD,” Dellacqua told the AO Show Weekly, in reference to the initials of their names. “This is why I love tennis, because it doesn’t matter at what level, I get an opportunity to play with my best mate who, yes, is an extremely good player and has won the (Wimbledon) Championships before.

“We’re just gonna have a great time and enjoy just being back together as friends on a tennis court, which we have loved to do our whole life... I’m actually really excited about it. We’re now in a different stage of our life. We’ve both got kids, we chat about different things, but hey, the tennis doesn’t change. The tennis is always there. And that’s what kind of is the glue that brought us together. So we’re really lucky.”

Ash Barty will play an invitational doubles event at Wimbledon. Image: Getty
Ash Barty will play an invitational doubles event at Wimbledon. Image: Getty

Barty and Dellacqua made three grand slam finals together during their doubles playing days together, including the 2013 Wimbledon doubles final. Both have since gone onto other chapters of their lives, with Barty getting married and having a child and Dellacqua also a mother and courtside reporter at recent Australian Open tournaments.


The good mates will team up in the legends tournament that will feature two groups of eight pairs playing in a round-robin format. The top pairs from each group will qualify for the final and a chance to win a share of the £35,000 ($A64,800) prize for first place. Each pair will pocket a guaranteed £24,000 ($A45,800) between them, with the legends event also encompassing men’s doubles and mixed doubles.

Barty has continually shot down calls for her to return to tennis, insisting she's happy in post-retirement life after starting a family with husband Garry Kissick and their son, Hayden. But the Aussie legend has been persuaded to return to the scene of one of her greatest career triumphs at the All England Club, having also won the French Open in 2019 to become the first Aussie woman in 46 years to claim the clay-court grand slam.

The Queenslander has continually insisted she won't be following the likes of Naomi Osaka, Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki in coming back to the sport after having children. Barty has admitted that while she misses seeing some of her former rivals, her main priority now revolves around her son Hayden.

“It’s not like I’m doing things to keep myself away from the court,” she said. “I want be able to be there to raise Hayden and I want to be able to enjoy that. That’s what I want to do, plain and simple. That’s where my priorities lie now. I absolutely love being a mum. There’s nothing else that I prefer to do.”