Tennis star Ashleigh Barty turns to golf: All we know
In March this year, Ashleigh Barty announced a shock retirement from tennis at 25. The announcement was a bolt from the blue as Barty won the Australian Open in January. Barty, who has also played professional cricket in the past, has now turned to golf. The Australian star has signed up for the global celebrity golf series. Here are further details.
- Barty was the world number one (WTA Rankings) for 114 consecutive weeks at the time of retiring.
- She said she doesn't have the "physical drive, the emotional want, and everything it takes to challenge yourself at the very top of the level anymore".
- The announcement came over a month after she won the 2022 Australian Open.
- And now, Barty could be venturing into golf.
In the 2014-15 season, Barty took an indefinite break from tennis. She turned to cricket, having signed with the Brisbane Heat for the inaugural Women's Big Bash League season. Notably, Barty had no formal training in the sport. The Australian returned to tennis in 2016.
Barty has signed up for the global celebrity golf series comprising exhibition tournaments. It features 23 other celebrities from the world of sport. Barty is included in the 'Rest of the World' team captained by Ernie Els. The first event in the series will take place at Liberty National in New Jersey in June. Meanwhile, Europe, Asia, and Australia will host further tournaments.
Other notable names to take part in the golf series: Football legends Pep Guardiola and Harry Kane, Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps, boxers Canelo Alvarez and Oscar De La Hoya, as well as American football star Ben Roethlisberger
Besides plying her trade in tennis and cricket, Barty has also been passionate about golf. The Australian has won the ladies' championship at the Brookwater golf club in Queensland twice. Notably, Barty's fiance, Garry Kissick, is a trainee professional there. As per CNN, golf legend Tiger Woods once lavished praise on Barty, the golfer. He stated that Barty has a "great swing".
Barty overcame 28-year-old Danielle Collins to win the 2022 Australian Open. With this, the former sealed her third Grand Slam title, having clinched the French Open in 2019 and Wimbledon in 2021. Barty became the first women's home champion since Chris O'Neil in 1978. She had earlier become the first home player to reach the Australian Open women's final in 42 years.
Barty won her only junior Grand Slam title (2011 Wimbledon) at 15. She became just the second Australian to win the girls' singles event after Debbie Freeman in 1980. In 2019, Barty became the first Australian to win the French Open in singles since Margaret Court in 1973. Barty also has a major doubles title to her name (2018 US Open).