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Ash Barty announces retirement from tennis: ‘I have nothing more to give’

(AARON FRANCIS/AFP via Getty Images)

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.”

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.”

New Washington Spirit Head Coach Jonatan Giráldez Arrivin DC

head coach Jonatan Giráldez
Jonatan Giráldez joins the NWSL from FC Barcelona Femení. (Ramsey Cardy/UEFA via Getty Images)

Five months after announcing that the Washington Spirit had hired Barcelona Femení coach Jonatan Giráldez as the team's new head coach, Giráldez has joined the club in Washington, DC.

Giráldez is coming off of a successful season with the Spanish side, having won UEFA Women's Champions League, Copa de la Reina, Supercopa, and Liga F in his final season to complete a lauded Quadruple.

While Giráldez was finishing out his tenure in Europe, Adrián González filled in as Spirit interim head coach. González has also seen success, leading the team to its third-place standing with a 9-3-1 record through 13 games.

“I’m thrilled to join the Spirit and begin this next chapter with the club,” Giráldez said in an official team statement. “To be part of the vision Michele Kang has for the Spirit and women’s soccer globally is an exciting opportunity.”

Giráldez has worked at Barcelona since 2019, initially coming on as an assistant coach before moving up to head coach in 2021. The team went 30-0-0 on the season under Giráldez during his first year as manager.

He brings along with him Andrés González and Toni Gordo, who will serve as the Spirit's Fitness Coach and Club Analyst, respectively.

US Track & Field Olympic Trials Touch Down in Oregon

Sha’Carri Richardson competes in the women’s 200-meter preliminary round during the USATF Outdoor Championships
Sha’Carri Richardson will have some competition this week as athletes vie for an Olympic berth. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The US Olympic Track & Field Trials begin on June 21st, kicking off a 10-day quest to determine who will represent the US in Paris this summer.

The crucial meet will take place in Eugene, Oregon, where the top three finishers in each event will punch their ticket to the 2024 Olympics. As with this past week's US Swimming Trials, even the most decorated athletes must work to earn their spot — and one bad performance could undermine four years of preparation.

Reigning 100-meter World Champion Sha'Carri Richardson headlines this year's field, as the 24-year-old looks to qualify for her second Olympic Games and compete in her first. Richardson is a world champion in both the 100-meter and 200-meter sprint, but missed the Tokyo Olympics due to testing positive for THC shortly after the last US Olympic Trials.

Other standouts include 400-meter Olympic gold medal-winning hurdler Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, who's currently the most decorated athlete in the active women's US Track & Field pool. McLaughlin-Levrone qualified to run in the 200-meter and 400-meter flat races alongside the 400-meter hurdles at the Olympic Trials, but opted to focus solely on her signature event.

800-meter specialist Athing Mu will also be a huge draw this week, as the Olympic gold medalist looks to shake off a lingering hamstring injury while pursuing her second Summer Games. Gold medal-winning pole vaulter Katie Moon will also attempt to qualify for her second-straight Olympic Games.

Ole Miss star McKenzie Long could be Richardson's greatest competition in the 100-meter and 200-meter events, as well as Richardson's Worlds teammate Gabby Thomas in the 200-meter. In field events, watch for Oregon senior Jaida Ross going head-to-head with reigning world champion Chase Jackson in the shot put, as both push for their first Olympic team berth.

Regardless of why you tune in, the US Olympic Trials are a perpetually thrilling and sometimes brutal qualification process. If you're able to make your way to the head of the pack, a shot at Olympic glory might just be waiting at the finish line.

Fans can catch live coverage throughout the Trials via NBC, USA, and Peacock.

Top Teams Square Off in NWSL Weekend Slate

NWSL Orlando Pride forward Barbra Banda
Orlando Pride, led by forward Barbra Banda, will take on Utah in this weekend's NWSL action. (Nicholas Faulkner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

As the NWSL season continues, a few top-performing clubs will have a chance to boost their standings this weekend.

First-place Kansas City will travel to Providence Park to take on fifth-place Portland, as the Current look to keep their unbeaten streak intact. And in New Jersey, third-place Washington will take on fourth-place Gotham FC, with both teams attempting to extend multi-game unbeaten streaks.

A six-point gap has opened between the fifth and sixth spot on the NWSL table — with just six points also separating the league's top five. Kansas City, Orlando, Washington, Gotham, and Portland have recently proven themselves to be a cut above the rest of the competition. With eight postseason spots up for grabs and half the season behind us, a pattern is forming that indicates the playoff race could come down to spots six through eight on the NWSL table.

Of those top five teams, only Orlando faces an opponent in the bottom half of the league this weekend: The Pride will take on 14th-place Utah, who nonetheless are coming off a win — just their second of the season — over Bay FC last weekend.

But despite Kansas City and Orlando having yet to lose a game, Gotham might be the squad coming into the weekend with the most momentum.

Clutch goals from Rose Lavelle and rookie Maycee Bell gave the Bats a 2-0 midweek win over San Diego on Wednesday, in a rematch of the 2024 Challenge Cup. Gotham's unbeaten streak dates all the way back to April, as rising availability and sharpened form have honed this year's superteam into a contender.

Bottom line? As the NWSL season passes the halfway mark, some matches might begin to feel more like playoff previews than mere regular season battles.

Chelsea Gray Returns From Injury in Aces Win Over Seattle

las vegas aces chelsea gray and kelsey plum celebrate a win over the seattle storm
Gray has been sidelined with a foot injury since the 2023 WNBA Finals. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Chelsea Gray made her return to the basketball court on Wednesday, helping the Aces to a 94-83 win over the Seattle Storm. 

The lauded point guard missed the first 12 games of the season, having been injured in last year’s WNBA Finals. The left foot injury caused her to miss Game 4 of the championship series, and she’s continued to rehab it through the beginning of the 2024 season. 

Her return on Wednesday was capitalized by the fact that she needed just 20 seconds to make an impact and record her first assist. While she finished with just one point, she had seven assists, four rebounds, and two blocks to go alongside it in 15:30 minutes. Gray's contributions on the night brought her career assist record up to 1,500.

"I probably went through every emotion leading up to today," Gray said after the game. "I was a little anxious all day. It's been a long time since I've been out on that court. But the fans were amazing from the time I came out to warm up to the time I checked in the game. It was a rush and a feeling I missed a lot."

It’s been a roller coaster of a season so far for Las Vegas, who have lost five of their last seven games. Gray, who averaged 15.3 points, 7.3 assists, and 4.0 rebounds in 2023, has proven herself a much-needed addition to the team’s lineup.

"Felt like my heart," Aces coach Becky Hammon said when asked how she felt hearing the crowd erupt for Gray's return. "She's the leader of our team. I thought she did a wonderful job too."

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