News, Culture & Society

Ash Barty details the moment she decided to QUIT tennis forever in her new book My Dream Time

I will be retiring from tennis.

‘It’s the first time I’ve actually said that out loud and yeah, it’s hard to say.

‘But I’m so happy and I’m so ready and I just know at the moment in my heart for me as a person, this is right.

‘I know I’ve done this before, but in a very different feeling.

‘I’m so grateful to everything that tennis has given me. It’s given me all of my dreams, plus more, but I know that the time is right now for me to step away and chase other dreams and to put the rackets down.

CASEY DELLACQUA: Why now?

ASH BARTY:  ‘It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time.

‘I’ve had a lot of incredible moments in my career that have been pivotal moments. And Wimbledon last year changed a lot for me as a person and for me as an athlete when you work so hard, your whole life for one goal, and I’ve been able to share that with so many incredible people.

‘But to be able to win Wimbledon, which was my dream, – the one true dream that I wanted in tennis – that really changed my perspective.

‘I just had I just had that gut feeling after Wimbledon and had spoken to my team quite a lot about it.

There was just a little part of me that wasn’t quite satisfied, wasn’t quite fulfilled.

‘And then came the challenge of the Australian Open and that for me just feels like the most perfect way, my perfect way, to celebrate what an amazing journey my tennis career has been.

‘As a person, this is what I want. I want to chase after some other dreams that I’ve always wanted to do.

‘I’ve always had that really healthy balance, but I’m really, really excited.

DELLACQUA: Hard for a lot of people to understand. You’re probably one of the most marketable athletes in the world. How difficult was it to come to this decision?

BARTY: ‘There was a perspective shift in me in the second phase of my career that my happiness wasn’t dependent on the results.

‘Success for me is knowing that I’ve given absolutely everything, everything I can.

‘I’m fulfilled, I’m happy, and I know how much work it takes to bring the best out of yourself.

‘I just don’t have that in me anymore. I don’t have the physical drive, the emotional want and everything it takes to challenge yourself at the very top level anymore.

‘I am spent. I just know physically I have nothing more to give and that, for me, is success.

‘I’ve given absolutely everything I can to this beautiful sport of tennis and I’m really happy with that.

‘I know that people may not understand it. And that’s okay, I’m okay with that because I know that for me, Ash Barty, the person has so many dreams that she wants to chase after that don’t necessarily involve traveling the world, being away from my family being away from my home, which is where I’ve always wanted to be.

‘I’ll never ever ever stop loving tennis. It’ll always be a massive part of my life.

‘But now I think it’s important that I get to enjoy the next phase of my life as Ash Barty the person and not Ash Barty the athlete.

‘It was hard but it’s right and I know that brought me lots of comfort knowing that this is right for me.’ 

***
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk