Former No. 1, Who Retired at 25, Finds Life After Tennis

Former No. 1, Who Retired at 25, Finds Life After Tennis

Like others have done during the pandemic, Ashleigh Barty quit her job earlier this year. Unlike everyone else, Barty was the No. 1 professional tennis player in the world at the time. Just 25 when she retired in March, Barty has adjusted to staying at home in Australia after the “very structured life” of touring, reports The New York Times. “I think what surprised me the most was how comfortable I was,” she said. “I think there was probably a normal fear or uncertainty in not knowing what my post-tennis life would be like after being so focused.” Barty had taken a 17-month hiatus from touring as a teenager, citing mental fatigue and loneliness.

The fact that Barty quit while at the top has baffled many, especially at a time when much older stars are still performing. Rankings weren’t important to her, and she says people measure success differently. Nine months later, Barty backs his decision. “I achieved my dreams,” she said. Around this time, she got married, worked on children’s books, and wrote an autobiography, My Dream Time. She spent a lot of time with her family and paid off her parents’ mortgage as a thank you for their sacrifices in building her career. Next year, Barty plans to establish a youth foundation and a tennis academy.

In January, she will make commercial appearances at the Australian Open. But she won’t play. In March, Barty stopped completely ruling out a return at some point. She could try another sport: Barty is good enough at golf to turn professional, and she played cricket professionally, according to the Times. She doesn’t see any of that happening, and the Sydney Morning Herald reported on Friday that Barty had turned down a broadcast job at the Open. “The more time I’ve had to sit down and reflect and absorb this year, the more I think it’s never again in the sense of me competing professionally again,” Barty said. But she expects to be involved in some way in the sport that ranked her No. (Read more stories from Ashleigh Barty.)

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