Ash Barty's telling reveal amid questions about tennis comeback

Seen here, Ash Barty promoting her new book at a Melbourne Park launch.
Ash Barty has refused to close the door completely on a return to tennis. Pic: AAP

Ash Barty admits she will "never say never" when it comes to a potential return to tennis, before adding that she's "done" with professional sport at this moment in her life.

Barty shocked the tennis world in March when she abruptly announced that she was retiring from the sport at the age of 25, weeks after claiming the Australian Open for her third grand slam title.

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Since then, speculation has been rife that Barty, now 26, would have a crack at pursuing another professional sport, with cricket and golf the two most likely options.

However, the former World No.1 tennis star has preferred the quiet life with her husband Garry Kissick, after the pair tied the knot at a secret wedding in July.

Returning to the scene of her Australian Open triumph at Melbourne Park on Monday for the launch of her new book, Barty was emphatic when asked about the possibility of making a sporting comeback - even if she did leave the door open ever so slightly.

"Nope, I'm done. You can never say never but no. No, no, no. I'm done," Barty told AAP while promoting her new memoir, "My Dream Time".

Barty's shock retirement in March, at only 25 and after enjoying 121 weeks as a dominant world No.1, sent bookmakers in to a frenzy trying to predict what sport she'd pursue next.

Even Barty, a one-time Brisbane Heat BBL star and a four-marker with a swing that even wowed Tiger Woods before the 2019 Presidents Cup, "cracked up" when newspaper graphics had the three-time grand slam champion saddled on a horse as a potential jockey or even turning to lawn bowls.

But now blissfully married, the retired superstar insists she no longer yearns to be a professional athlete.

"I miss competing and challenging myself against the best of the world but I don't miss a lot that comes with it," Barty said.

"I'm still competitive with myself when I train at home. I still try and push myself but there's no white-line fever any more.

"And I never really felt like there was this void that needed to be filled in because there was a genuine sense of fulfilment at the end of my career.

"I don't think I was still searching for the competitive beast anymore."

Seen here, Ash Barty smiling during the celebrity fourball event prior to The 150th Open at St Andrews Old Course in 2022.
Ash Barty smiles during the celebrity fourball event prior to The 150th Open at St Andrews Old Course in 2022. Pic: Getty

Barty has admitted after her retirement that she hardly watches any tennis, so it's probably little surprise that when asked whether she would fellow Aussie tennis icons Lleyton Hewitt and Jelena Dokic into commentary, the 26-year-old replied: "No, never".

The Queenslander explained that this break from sport is much different to 2014, when she walked away from tennis for the first time after feeling homesick, disillusioned and dissatisfied.

Ash Barty embracing next chapter in her life

"During that period of my life (while) playing cricket, I was searching. I was searching for stimulation, I was searching for other things," she said.

"But now I don't need that. Now I have probably understood and realised that I've had an extremely full, fulfilling, incredible journey in my athletic and professional career and now it's time to close that chapter.

"Now it's the beginning of a completely new chapter in my life and we see what's possible as opposed to searching for what's missing."

Pictured here, Ash Barty and her husband Garry Kissick tied the knot in July 2022.
Ash Barty married her longtime partner Garry Kissick in July this year. Pic: Getty

The 26-year-old remains unsure what the future holds, though she's already enjoying mentoring young players and a role as Australia's Billie Jean King Cup captain some time down the track wouldn't surprise.

For now, she's happy to smell the roses after the chance to write her book provided a semblance of "closure".

From the very first chapter, which revealed how Barty "hit rock bottom" following a demoralising third-round Wimbledon exit in 2018, the Queenslander was intent on offering up a warts-and-all account of her career and young life.

"I didn't want to sugar-coat it or lie about anything. I was just telling my story, my journey and the tears that came with it were therapeutic," Barty told AAP.

"But also at times there was probably an understanding of how much single moments meant to me, and how much single moments became really pivotal moments.

"At those times, I didn't know. But reflecting on it, I realised how big a moments they were."

with AAP

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