Former three-time Grand Slam champion Ashleigh Barty decided to retire at 25 because the "the fire inside her died." In March, Barty announced she was retiring from tennis. At the time, Barty was the top-ranked player in the world and in the prime of her career.
Last year, Barty achieved her childhood dream when she became a Wimbledon champion. That was when Barty's motivation started to decline and what ultimately sent her into retirement. “Winning Wimbledon was the single thing I wanted my whole career.
But after that feat, in June 2021, the fire died inside," Barty told News Corp. In a book that Barty is publishing, there's a detail that reveals how she felt while playing unmotivated. “I don’t know what I’m playing for anymore.
I think I’m done. I have got nothing left, no spark," Barty wrote.
Barty on retirement life
Since retiring, Barty has also become a wife. This past summer, she married her long-time partner Garry Kissick. “The last six or seven months of my life have been everything I have ever wanted.
I’m loving the way my life is at the moment. I won’t even be estranged from the tennis world... but I just won’t be out there for me," Barty revealed. After Barty, Serena Williams also retired from tennis. When Williams revealed her plans to retire from tennis, Barty reflected on her rivalry with Williams.
At the 2014 Australian Open, Williams destroyed Barty 6-2 6-1 in what was their first meeting. Four years later, Williams defeated Barty in three sets at the French Open. Last year, Barty and Williams were scheduled to meet in the semifinal of a WTA tournament in Melbourne.
Unfortunately, Williams was forced to retire that match so Barty didn't get a chance to maybe beat the American for the first time. “The first [time] I was a very young girl who was intimidated,” Barty told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.
“The second time I thought I had a chance and I did. But the way that she plays and her greatness was too good for me. I would have loved to have challenged myself one last time. That’s my competitive spirit, and me learning from the experiences that I had." Following Barty and Williams' retirement, Iga Swiatek has established herself as the new face of the women's game.