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World No. 1 Ash Barty stuns tennis world by announcing retirement

Ashleigh Barty
Posted at 10:32 AM, Mar 23, 2022

Ash Barty, the No. 1 ranked female tennis player in the world, announced she is retiring from tennis.

The 25-year-old posted an interview on Instagram where she explains her decision to step away from the game.

"I just know at the moment, in my heart, for me as a person, this is right," Barty said.

The Australian has won three grand slam titles. In February, she became the first Australian to win the Australian Open since 1978.

She said the win in her home country and last year's Wimbledon victory were career-defining moments that allow her to feel fulfilled.

"I don't have the physical drive, the emotional want and everything it takes to challenge yourself at the very top of the level anymore," Barty said.

Barty has been one of the most consistent players in women's tennis in recent years. She has been ranked No. 1 for 121 weeks, according to the Women's Tennis Association.

"With her accomplishments at the Grand Slams, WTA Finals, and reaching the pinnacle ranking of No. 1 in the world, she has clearly established herself as one the great champions of the WTA," said WTA Chairman & CEO Steve Simon.

Barty was vague about what she will do next. She said she has personal goals she would like to accomplish.

"I think it's important I get to enjoy the next phase of my life as Ash Barty the person, not Ash Barty the athlete," she said.

This is the second time Barty has retired from professional tennis. Barty stepped away in 2014, citing burnout.

Barty is the second No. 1 tennis player to retire at the top of the game. Justine Henin retired in 2008 as the top-ranked female tennis player, the WTA said.