Ash Barty has announced she and husband Garry Kissick are expecting their first baby together. The retired Aussie tennis champion took to Instagram on Friday night to reveal the beautiful news.
Barty posted a photo of one of her dogs alongside some baby shoes, writing: “2023 set to be the best year yet. We are so excited for our new adventure. Origi already the protective big sister”.
Kissick, who is a huge Liverpool fan, shared the news. He wrote: “Little Red, 2023”.
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Barty shocked the tennis world last March when she announced her retirement from tennis at age 25. In July she and Kissick got married in a private ceremony in Queensland.
Congratulations have been flowing in from around the tennis world over the wonderful news. Retired star and Channel 9 commentator Jelena Dokic posted: “Congratulations Ash, so happy for you”.
Aussie star Maddison Inglis wrote: “omg congrats!!!!”, while Caroline Wozniacki, Caroline Garcia, Johanna Konta, Kiki Bertens and Casey Dellacqua all sent their well-wishes as well.
Speaking to the New York Times recently, Barty opened up on her life since retirement. The 26-year-old said she was 'surprised' at how comfortable she felt since the bombshell decision.
“To be honest, I think what has surprised me most is how comfortable I’ve been,” she said. “I think there was probably a normal fear or uncertainty in not knowing what my life would look like after tennis after being so focused.
"I was a bit unsure how I would deal with that because I am a person who likes to be organised. There was probably a little bit of fear in that, but overall, that hasn’t been an issue, a concern or a worry.
“What’s been surprising in a good way is that I’ve slipped quite seamlessly into this life that’s just like everyone else. Which is kind of always what I wanted.”
Ash Barty to make return to Australian Open
Barty's retirement came just two months after she became the first Aussie to win the Australian Open in 44 years. The Queenslander will stay involved in tennis after it emerged she's setting up an academy for young players alongside former coaches Craig Tyzzer and Jason Stoltenberg.
“The more time I’ve had to sit and think and absorb this year, I think it is never in the sense of me competing professionally again,” Barty said. “But I’ll never not be involved in this sport. So I think that’s where I’ll always get my tennis fix, that taste of the sport that gave me so much.”
And while she won't be playing at the Australian Open this year, tennis fans will still see her face around Melbourne Park. Rising Aussie star Olivia Gadecki recently revealed that Barty will be in her camp during the grand slam.
Barty has been mentoring her fellow Queenslander for several years and will continue the role at the Australian Open. "I've been really fortunate to always be able to contact her if I have any questions or if I need advice, she's always been there for me," Gadecki told AAP at the United Cup in Sydney. "The best part is she just treats me like a normal person and we can relate in that regard and off court is just as important as on court."
Barty made a recent appearance at the United Cup in Brisbane, posing for photos with Polish star Iga Swiatek. The new World No.1 took over from Barty at the top of the rankings after the Aussie announced her retirement.
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