World No. 1 Ash Barty is retiring from tennis, she announced Wednesday in a video posted to her Instagram account.
The three-time Grand Slam champion is less than two months removed from her Australian Open win. The 25-year-old became the first Australian player to win the major since 1978. She also became the second active player next to Serena Williams to win majors on all three surfaces.
After her Australian Open win in January, she withdrew from Indian Wells and the Miami Open, citing an ongoing need for recovery. At the time, she said she aimed to return for the Billie Jean King Cup in April.
On Wednesday, though, Barty shared her plans to retire from the sport in a video with her close friend and former doubles player Casey Dellacqua.
“I just know at the moment, in my heart, for me as a person, this is right,” Barty said. “As a person this is what I want. I want to chase after some other dreams that I’ve always wanted to do and I’ve always had that really healthy balance, but I’m really really excited.”
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Ash Barty (@ashbarty)
A post shared by Ash Barty (@ashbarty)
This is not the first time that Barty has stepped away from tennis. In 2014, she took a break, citing burnout and the overwhelming pressure and travel required. Her hiatus came three years after winning the Wimbledon junior championship at age 15.
She took up cricket, playing professionally in Australia, before again picking up her racket and returning to tennis in 2016.
Following her return, Barty won the 2019 French Open on clay and the 2021 Wimbledon on grass, and then she won on the hard courts at Melbourne Park in January. Since first turning pro in 2010, she has won 15 tour-level titles in singles and 12 in doubles. She’s spent the past 114 weeks atop the world rankings, bringing her career total to 121 weeks.
She retires having earned $23,829,071 on tour.
“I know I’ve done this before, but in a very different feeling,” Barty said. “And I’m so grateful to everything that tennis has given me. It’s given me all of my dreams possible, but I know that the time is right now for me to step away and chase other dreams.”
She’s not the first tennis player to walk away at the top of their game. Justine Henin retired in May 2008 at No. 1 in the world, having spent 61 consecutive weeks atop the rankings, also at the age of 25. She returned two years later, reaching the 2010 Australian Open final before retiring for good in 2011.
Revealing that the conversations about walking away began after she won Wimbledon, Barty said that there was “just a little part of me” that wasn’t fully satisfied. Then came the Australian Open.
“To be able to win Wimbledon which was my dream, my one true dream that I wanted in tennis, that really changed my perspective,” she said. “Then came the challenges of the Australian Open and I think that for me just feels like the most perfect way, my perfect way to celebrate what an amazing journey my tennis career has been.
“I’m fulfilled, I’m happy, and I know how much work it takes to bring the best out of yourself…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.”