Ash Barty fuels major theory about next move after retirement

Ash Barty, pictured here answering questions about her retirement from tennis.
Ash Barty has fronted the media to answer questions about her retirement from tennis. Image: Getty/Instagram

Ash Barty has fuelled speculation that she is eyeing off a move to a different sport after her stunning retirement from tennis.

Barty dropped a bombshell on Wednesday after announcing her retirement from the sport at the age of 25.

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As the world comes to grips with her shock decision to walk away while at the top of her game, many have speculated that Barty wants to try her hand at another sport.

Fans and journalists mentioned golf, cricket and AFLW in reacting to Barty's retirement on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old previously played for the Brisbane Heat in the WBBL after taking a break from tennis in 2014.

She is regularly spotted at AFL games watching her beloved Richmond Tigers and often used a Sherrin in her tennis warm-ups.

She is also a regular on the golf course and met her fiancee Garry Kissick at a golf club in Queensland.

When the Covid-19 pandemic affected the world tennis tours in 2020, Barty opted to stay in Australia and spent plenty of time working on her golf game, even winning the Brookwater club’s women’s championship in her first pro event.

Ash Barty, pictured here hitting a golf ball into the Yarra River during a 2019 Presidents Cup media opportunity.
Ash Barty hits a golf ball into the Yarra River during a 2019 Presidents Cup media opportunity. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Addressing the media on Thursday in Brisbane, Barty was asked about the possibility of a code switch.

The three-time grand slam champion didn't exactly shut down the question, fuelling theories we'll see her in another sport very soon.

"We'll see what happens," she said in a telling response that many interpreted to mean she wants to switch sports.

"I love sport. I’m a sport nut, like a lot of Australians are. I’ll be lured to it.

"I have always been an athlete in the sense of trying different things, but we’ll see how we go.”

Speaking on Channel 7 on Thursday morning, Aussie great Rennae Stubbs also speculated that a code switch is on the cards.

“Tennis doesn’t make her happy anymore - the travel, the grind, the practice, all of it. She wants to move on to something else,” Stubbs said.

“Don’t be surprised if we see her walk down the fairway of an LPGA (golf) event.

“We know she can play cricket, we know that she’s basically a scratch golfer … she can kick a footy and can probably walk on for an AFLW team.

“I think she’s got a few things up her sleeve that she wants to achieve.

“And she’s young enough and smart enough (to make the change).”

Romanian rival Simona Halep was among the many to mention golf when Barty announced her retirement on Wednesday.

Ash Barty has no regrets about sudden retirement

According to Barty, she's not planning anything special other than her upcoming wedding.

“I’m not hiding anything. I’ve got no secrets,” she said when asked if there was a secret reason behind her retirement.

“I’ve said exactly what I wanted to say.

“I’m an open book. I am just so proud of all of the work that I have done with my team.

“We have done this together right from the start, have enjoyed every single minute and we have no regrets. We have achieved so much together and it’s been fun on the way.”

Barty re-iterated that her Wimbledon triumph in 2021 left her feeling like she didn't have anything left to achieve in tennis.

“After [winning] Wimbledon, my perspective changed a lot," she said.

"And there was this beautiful challenge of trying to play the Australian Open and trying to win an Australian Open, which was always another goal of mine, and to do that as a team and to do that with the people that meant so much to me was incredible.

“So it was just - there is no perfect way, there is no perfect timing, but this was our perfect way.”

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