Ash Barty has opened up about her shocking decision to quit tennis at the top of her game as she prepares to publish her autobiography, my dream time.
In the new book, the former world No. 1 admitted she struggled with the travel required of a professional athlete and that became a factor when considering retirement.
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“It’s (the trip) that I’ve probably struggled with throughout my career,” Barty told Sunrise.
“The journey was tough, no doubt, but it was also such an important part of my life and helped me become who I am today.”
After winning Wimbledon in 2021, Barty said she started losing the passion and drive to pursue her career.
“I don’t know why I play anymore. I think I’m done, I have nothing left, no spark. Barty writes of this period in my dream time.
Despite struggling with motivation, Barty remained at the top of her game and won this year’s Australian Open before announcing the shock decision to retire in March.
Growing up, Barty revealed that her first tennis coach found interesting ways to challenge her, including telling opponents how to beat her in matches.
“He was very tough, but also the first person to wrap his arm around me and I think that was tough love in an almost ironic way,” Barty said.
“It was always about growth and that was how he challenged me.
“He helped me understand that everything he did was for my growth and for me to try to learn and solve problems and that probably held me in a very good position later in my career. “
The 26-year-old said she has no regrets about her sudden retirement and is excited about what the future holds.
“No regrets, that’s all I ever wanted,” Barty explained.
“I’m lucky to have been able to fulfill my childhood dream and have a career for 20 years, something that I loved.
“Now what excites me is the next chapter and what it’s about, I’m not quite sure yet, but the last six months, if anything happens, it’s going to be a journey really funny.”
Since retiring, Barty has married longtime boyfriend Garry Kissick, written children’s books, traveled Australia and played golf extensively.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect this year and it was an adjustment for me,” Barty said.
“I don’t have to train and worry about my next international flight, which has been quite nice.
“It’s definitely been a nice routine and structure that we’ve had at home.”
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