Ash Barty has made the staggering revelation that she felt like walking away from tennis after winning Wimbledon in 2021.
The Australian star shocked the world on Wednesday when she announced her immediate retirement from the sport.
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The 25-year-old posted an interview with good friend Casey Dellacqua on Instagram in which she made the shock announcement.
"Today is difficult and filled with emotion for me as I announce my retirement from tennis," Barty wrote.
"I wasn’t sure how to share this news with you so I asked my good friend Casey Dellacqua to help me.
"I am so thankful for everything this sport has given me and leave feeling proud and fulfilled.
"Thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way, I’ll always be grateful for the lifelong memories that we created together."
In the interview with Dellacqua, Barty made the startling admission that she's been contemplating retirement since fulfilling her lifelong dream of winning Wimbledon last year.
“It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time and I’ve had a lot of incredible moments in my career that have been pivotal moments,” she told Dellacqua.
“Wimbledon last year changed a lot for me as a person and for me as an athlete when you work so hard your whole life for one goal, and I’ve been able to share that with so many incredible people.
“But to be able to win Wimbledon, which was my dream - the one, true dream I wanted in tennis - that really changed my perspective.
"I just had that gut feeling after Wimbledon and had spoken to my team quite a lot about it.
“There was just a little part of me that wasn’t quite satisfied, wasn’t quite fulfilled. And then came the challenge of the Australian Open.
“That for me just feels like the perfect way - my perfect way - to celebrate what an amazing journey my tennis career has been.
“As a person, this is what I want. I want to chase after some other dreams that I’ve always wanted to do, and always had that really healthy balance, but I’m really, really excited.”
Ash Barty says she won't be back this time
Barty took a break from tennis after a demoralising loss at the US Open in 2014, stepping away from the sport to mentally refresh.
However this time she says she's not coming back.
"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 added.
“I know I’ve done this before, but in a very different feeling.
"I’m so grateful to everything that tennis has given me. It’s given me all of my dreams, plus more.
"But I know the time is right now for me to step away and chase other dreams and to put the racquets down.
"I know that I am spent, physically, I don't have anything more to give.
"I have given everything I can to this beautiful sport and I'm really happy with that. For me, that is my success."
As well as her Wimbledon title, Barty walks away from the sport after winning the French Open in 2019 and the Australian Open in 2022.
She also won the US Open doubles title in 2018, collecting 15 singles and 12 doubles titles throughout her career.
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