World No. 6 Andrey Rublev sent Ashleigh Barty a touching message as he wished her all the best in the next stage of her life and added he is confident the Australian could have a successful comeback if she decider to return one day.
Barty, who is still ranked at No. 1 in the world, announced on Wednesday she was retiring from tennis at the age of 25. Barty won two of the last three-time Grand Slams and decided to call it in her career while in her prime.
"I know we don’t know each other much but I hope you will enjoy the next part of your life. You did an amazing career in such a short time. If you wanna come back I think you are still able to do this anytime you want after a couple of years.
Hope you enjoy your life & you'll be happy," Rublev said, per Reem Abulleil.
Barty lost her motivation
After Barty achieved her childhood dream of winning Wimbledon, her motivation started to decline. "Today is difficult and filled with emotion for me as I announce my retirement from tennis.
I wasn’t sure how to share this news with you so I asked my good friend @caseydellacqua to help me. I am so thankful for everything this sport has given me and leave feeling proud and fulfilled. Thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way, I’ll always be grateful for the lifelong memories that we created together," Barty wrote on Instagram.
Coach Craig Tyzzer said in a press conference he noticed after Wimbledon that Barty was struggling to get herself motivated. Barty returned to Australia after a shock third round loss at the US Open, where she took some time to rest.
Barty then put up a strong preseason and won her first Australian Open title without a dropped set at Melbourne Park.