Saying “I have nothing more to give” Ashleigh Barty announces shock retirement from world tennis

The world number one has won three Grand Slam events, including this year’s Australian Open

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FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Australian Open - Women's Singles Photo Shoot - Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne, Australia - January 30, 2022 Australian Open champion Australia's Ashleigh Barty poses with the trophy during a photo shoot at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne REUTERS/Loren Elliott/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Australian Open - Women's Singles Photo Shoot - Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne, Australia - January 30, 2022 Australian Open champion Australia's Ashleigh Barty poses with the trophy during a photo shoot at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne REUTERS/Loren Elliott/File Photo

In an unexpected move, the top-ranked female tennis player in the world is stepping away from the game at the age of 25.

Australian Ashleigh Barty is leaving the game on top, having won the Australian Open earlier this year for the first time in her career, one of her 15 singles titles on the WTA Tour.

“I know how much work it takes to bring the best out of yourself,” Barty said in a statement. “I’ve said it to my team multiple times, 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 of the level anymore.”

“I know that I am spent. I just know physically, I have nothing more to give.”

Australia's world number one Ashleigh Barty gestures during her retirement announcement in Brisbane, Australia, in this still image obtained from an undated social media video. Ash Barty/via REUTERS  THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.
Australia's world number one Ashleigh Barty gestures during her retirement announcement in Brisbane, Australia, in this still image obtained from an undated social media video. Ash Barty/via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.

Barty said she has been thinking about retirement “for a long time.”

She won her first Grand Slam title in Paris at the 2019 French Open and added a Wimbledon crown last year, before capturing her home major in Melbourne in January. She was the first Australian woman to win the singles title at the Australian Open since 1978.

Barty joins Justine Henin of Belgium as the only reigning World No. 1 in the women’s game to retire with the top ranking. Henin retired in 2008.

She began her career in 2010 and took a break for two years from 2014-6, admitting it was “too much, too soon” for her. It seems unlikely she will return to the WTA Tour a second time.

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - July 10, 2021  Australia's Ashleigh Barty holds the trophy after winning her final match against Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - July 10, 2021 Australia's Ashleigh Barty holds the trophy after winning her final match against Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

“There was a perspective shift in me the second phase of my career, that my happiness wasn’t dependent on the results.”

“I am so thankful for everything this sport has given me, and I leave feeling proud and fulfilled.”

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