Just when you thought 2022 couldn't get any crazier, the WTA world number one and reigning Wimbledon and Australian Open champion Ashleigh Barty announced her retirement from the sport.
She made the announcement within an interview with fellow Australian tennis player Casey Dellacqua, who she showed a lot of admiration for being a great friend to her on tour. Even though this may seem like a shock to the majority of tennis fans around world, it appears that Barty had been feeling this way for quite some time and she said had even entertained retiring after her Wimbledon victory, but felt there was still a part of her with unfinished business on the tennis tour, which she did manage to resolve by winning a Grand Slam in her home country on Rod Laver Arena in front of her adoring fans, family and friends.
Winning the Australian Open would prove to be the final action in Ashleigh Barty's short yet successful tennis career. Three Grand Slam trophies, a Slam on every surface, and the most consistent player on the WTA tour for many years, meaning she was well worth her number one ranking.
Many tennis players around the world came out to show their admiration for the three time Slam champion, with most of them echoing the same narrative, Barty being an incredible tennis player and champion of the sport who will be missed by everyone she came into contact with, and a real loss for the sport of tennis as the best female tennis player in the world at this time will never be seen in competition ever again.
Ash said that she just had lost the passion for wanting to compete at the highest level of the sport and that she wanted to embark on some other challenges in her life, which at twenty five years old, has only just begun.
Whatever Ash Barty decides to do next in her life, the whole world can agree, if she puts the same effort in as she did in her tennis career then she will be a guaranteed success.
Good luck Ash in all you do, and you will be welcomed with open arms if you ever decide to make a comeback.