25-year-old world number one Ashleigh Barty retires from tennis
Women's singles world number one tennis ace Ashleigh Barty has announced her retirement from tennis. Barty has been the number 1 ranked WTA player for 114 consecutive weeks and counting. The 25-year-old Aussie star has shocked the sporting world with her decision. Barty made the announcement on social media, saying she has was leaving to "chase other dreams". Here's more.
"It's the first time I've actually said it out loud and, yeah, it's hard to say," Barty told her former doubles partner Casey Dellacqua in an interview. "But I'm so happy, and I'm so ready. 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. I am spent."
Barty won three Grand Slam honors on three different surfaces. The Aussie won her first Grand Slam at the 2019 French Open. She has remained as the top-ranked player since then. She won her second Slam title by pocketing the Wimbledon last year. In January 2022, she became the first home player to win the Australian Open singles title in 44 years.
As per WTA, Barty went on to collect 15 titles in singles and 12 in doubles during this span. Interestingly, this is more than any other active player during this period. She also won the Adelaide International before lifting the 2022 Australian Open.
As per WTA, across all-levels of play, Barty managed a 305-102 win-loss record in singles. She had a 200-64 win-loss record in doubles as well. Her current reign as the number one is the fourth-longest streak in the history of the WTA Tour. She is only behind Steffi Graf (186 weeks), Serena Williams (186), and Martina Navratilova (156).
WTA Chairman and CEO Steve Simon said with Barty's accomplishments at Slams, WTA Finals and becoming the number one ranked player, she established herself as one of the great champions of the WTA. He also wished Ash the very best and said she would be a tremendous ambassador for the sport of tennis, embarking on a new chapter in her life.
Barty has become the second reigning world number 1 ranked women's player to retire while on top of the WTA Rankings. Justine Henin, who retired in May 2008, retired after 61 consecutive weeks at number 1. However, Henin returned to play two years later.