Tennis Prose



Barty’s New Book and Reason for Retiring

Ashleigh Barty won the Australian Open in January vs. Danielle Collins and then two months later abruptly and surprisingly retired from pro tennis at age 26 while ranked world no. 1.

She just finished a new book titled “My Dream Time” and says the real reasons for quitting while on top, were a mixture of depression, high expectations, and loss of drive.

At her manager’s house after winning Wimbledon last year, Barty said, ‘I don’t know what I’m playing for anymore. I think I’m done … I have got nothing left, no spark,’ Barty told her manager’s husband and her own hitting partner, Ben Mathias (husband of Nikki).

To continue training and playing seemed “pointless.” Barty has earned over $23m in prize money not including an estimated $30m from sponsorships and endorsements. Perhaps she had earned more money than she ever expected and felt it was a perfect time to change her life. In tennis she accomplished everything she ever dreamed of, and made a fortune.

“We set our sights on a summit and, step by step, we trudge towards that peak … But what do we do when we reach the pinnacle – when we finally win our Grand Final or our World Cup or our Wimbledon? Do we stop, sit, enjoy the view and breathe? Do we take the time to appreciate what we’ve done, and move on to something new?  No. In sport, we simply return to base camp every year and begin the journey of attempting to summit once again.”

Having seen Barty’s attitude and behavior on and off court and the friendly, happy manner she always shared while competing and with the media, she seemed perfectly happy and comfortable in her role as the Queen of pro tennis.

So you have to wonder if there is a political element or a WTA business factor that was not aligned with her belief system which hastened her decision to depart earlier than anyone expected.

One thing is for sure, though: Barty’s pleasant personality, impeccable sportsmanship and elegant, aesthetic play style will be enormously missed. There will never be another Ash Barty.


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