Australia's Ashleigh Barty has retired from the tennis court / Picture Credit: Tim Goode/PA Wire/PA Images
Australia's Ashleigh Barty has retired from the tennis court / Picture Credit: Tim Goode/PA Wire/PA Images

Australian Open winner Ashleigh Barty announced her retirement from tennis last month at just 25 years old, and it shocked everyone.

But she revealed she had wanted to retire back in 2019 after she won the French Open, and then again after she became the Wimbledon champion in 2021.

However, now was the right time for her to step away from the sport and, potentially, jump back into another one.

The former world No 1 has only been out of the game for what seems like five minutes, but she’s already gone and won a local golf tournament in Brisbane where she brought home a mammoth £17 to add her to net worth of £25 million.

She’s no stranger to a club and a tee as she used lockdown to improve her swing and got her handicap down from 10 to 4.

But there are also questions over whether the Wimbledon champion will go back to cricket as in 2015 and 2016 she played in the Women’s Big Bash over in Oz where she played for Brisbane Heat.

Australia’s cricket captain Meg Lanning would love to have Barty back in the sport, but only if it’s what she really wanted.

“I was surprised, I think we all were, you don’t expect someone who’s going so well and dominating to call time, it’s a very brave call,” she said.

“If she wants to come and have another crack at cricket, we would certainly be interested in talking to her.

“She was pretty good at it last time she played, she seems very talented at most things she does, let’s see what happens.”

Cricket and football star Ellyse Perry has also tried her hand at several sports, and she believes Barty has it in her to return to a sport and be just as good as she was the first time round.

“There’s a general expectation you’ll play for an extended period of time and go for as long as you possibly can, that’s the norm,” the 31-year-old explained.

“She genuinely tends to buck the norm a little bit and do what’s best for her, which is just really cool, it sounds like golf is in with a better chance than cricket, it’d be really nice for her to be able to do what she wants to do.

“There’s speculation around what sport she’s going to play next or what she’s going to do, hopefully she just gets to find that out for herself and do exactly what she’s got planned.”

Who knows what Barty is going to do next, but a smart bet would be on staying in sport for as long as she possibly can.

Written by Lucy Roberts for Female First, who you can follow on Twitter, @Lucy_Roberts_72.

Tagged in