Ash Barty fuels major theory about next move after retirement
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.
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.”
Looks like Ash will have a crack at another sport.
— Mark Stevens (@StevoMedia) March 24, 2022
"You'll have to wait and see, be patient."
Get the vibe that Ash knows what she is doing next - or it's a magnificent bluff. Either way, her excitement at getting to spend time at home and being 'Aunty Ash' must be a fantastic feeling for her.
— Lachlan McKirdy (@LMcKirdy7) March 24, 2022
Pretty obvious Barty is going to switch sports after watching this press conference.
— Rohanc (@rohancct) March 24, 2022
Golf. She will make women's golf the biggest thing just by being in it. And I for one can't bloody wait. We're lucky that she is who she is and she is generous with showing us. I want to be more like Ash. #respect #Barty Living National Treasure. https://t.co/jxR0ZKQdbm
— AussiePerson (@HitchensJr) March 24, 2022
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, what can I say, you know I have tears right? My friend, I will miss you on tour. You were different, and special, and we shared some amazing moments. What's next for you? Grand Slam champion in golf?! Be happy and enjoy your life to the max xo Simo@ashbarty pic.twitter.com/WbX7kXnJ1l
— Simona Halep (@Simona_Halep) March 23, 2022
Some wonderful tributes to Barty out there.
Disagree that she has nothing left to prove though - tennis, no. But I've got a sneaky suspicion she wants to be the best in the world on the golf course too and how fantastic would it be to watch her conquer another sport. https://t.co/uwrJregcLP
— Marc Dodd (@marcdodd) March 23, 2022
So much speculation that @ashbarty might take up football, cricket or golf.
Can we just take a moment to reflect on what an incredible #tennis player and role model she has been.
Walking away from a career at the peak of your powers and as world number one - 👏👏💪💪#barty
— Mark Gibson (@markgibbo) March 23, 2022
That’s funny, I read it too, a good friend in Oz just messaged she would probably support GARY her partner playing golf, it’s more like she will have a few kids and then they ALL play golf together…just totally Barty to make a move like this. 👏🎯 https://t.co/4xbq3oLf0N
— Ray Bundell (@RayBundell) March 23, 2022
I'm just gonna leave this here @ashbarty. Congrats on a fabulous tennis career 👏 Next on the tee....... ❓#AshBarty #Golf #Tennishttps://t.co/MXafhxwoYb
— Brad Clifton (@bradcliffo) March 23, 2022
I wonder if Ash Barty might have a serious dabble at Golf 🤔 #bartyretirement
— Phil Williams (@Phil_Williams22) March 23, 2022
Shocked to see Ash #Barty has retired at the peak of her powers. One of two players (the other Osaka) I thought might be able to enjoy a period of dominance in the post-Serena era. Intrigued to see what's next for her. Cricket? Golf?!
— Sam Price (@Sam_Price19) March 23, 2022
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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