Nine months after her shock retirement announcement, Ash Barty insists she has no regrets over her decision to walk away from tennis, claiming she was even surprised how “comfortable” she has been in the time since.
Barty stunned the tennis world when she confirmed she was retiring from tennis in an emotional interview with her good friend Casey Dellacqua in March.
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The 26-year-old was also coming off a stunning triumph at the Australian Open in which she became the first Aussie to win their home Slam in singles tennis since Chris O’Neil in 1978.
Barty had also sat atop the WTA rankings for a mind-boggling 114 consecutive weeks upon the announcement of her retirement.
In her retirement announcement, the Queenslander stated it was primarily down to not having the “physical drive, the emotional want and everything it takes to challenge yourself at the very top level any more”.
And despite the initial “fear” and “uncertainty” of how she would take on life post-tennis, Barty claims she’s enjoying life as an everyday person, something she “wanted”.
“To be honest, I think what has surprised me most is how comfortable I’ve been,” Barty told The New York Times.
“I think there was probably a normal fear or uncertainty in not knowing what my life would look like after tennis after being so focused.
“I was a bit unsure how I would deal with that because I am a person who likes to be organised.
“There was probably a little bit of fear in that, but overall, that hasn’t been an issue, a concern or a worry.
“What’s been surprising in a good way is that I’ve slipped quite seamlessly into this life that’s just like everyone else, which is kind of always what I wanted.”
Since retiring, Barty has penned a number of children’s books as well as her autobiography, titled “My Dream Time”.
However, according to The New York Times, Barty will still be involved in tennis as she plans to team up with former coaches Craig Tyzzer and Jason Stoltenberg to set up an academy for Australia’s best young stars.
It is through that academy that Barty expects to get her “tennis fix”, having all but shut the door on a return to life on the WTA tour.
“The more time I’ve had to sit and think and absorb this year, I think it is never in the sense of me competing professionally again,” Barty said.
“But I’ll never not be involved in this sport.
“So I think that’s where I’ll always get my tennis fix, that taste of the sport that gave me so much.”
Originally published as Barty lifts lid on big retirement ‘fear’ as next move revealed