Casey Dellacqua retires: Will this affect Ashleigh Barty's doubles career?


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Casey Dellacqua retires: Will this affect Ashleigh Barty's doubles career?

"It's something I've been thinking about for a while and I definitely feel like it's the right time to hang up my rackets and be a mum", Casey Dellacqua had said concerning her instant retirement from tennis.

It was in 2003 that Casey Dellacqua came on the WTA Grand Slam horizons reaching only the 1st round of the Australian Open and the 2nd round of doubles there too. Ashleigh Barty wasn't there with her then but the dynamic duo met up in 2013, five years ago to claim runner-up status in Melbourne getting defeated by the Italian duo of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci.

But months later at the Aegon Classic in Birmingham Barty and Dellacqua score a victory title and then were runner-ups at Wimbledon and the US Open. They'd also win another title at Strasbourg the following year. But there were gaps of Barty and Dellacqua not being present on the doubles circuit happening in 2015 when Dellacqua fell at the China Open and sustained a concussion, causing her to miss a year's play with recurring symptoms of the injury.

Barty didn't play tennis at all, feeling burnt out and probably frustrated that her partner was absent, she took a break, went on contract with the Brisbane Heat Cricket Team. In February of 2016 both Barty and Dellacqua resumed their partnership and won 3 titles out of 6 tournaments included a runner-up trophy at the French Open.

Barty returned with renewed energy and skill, showing an improvement of her singles game defeating Annika Beck, Shelby Rogers and Nao Hibino. There was a new attitude Barty carried around especially in singles and the following year 2017 she started winning more matches and qualified for the main draw in Malaysia making it to the final and defeated Nao Hibino to win her first WTA singles title and also won the doubles title with Dellacqua.

Barty's rankings had started to climb as she entered the Top 100 in singles for the first time in her career; her ability to toggle back and forth in her singles and doubles play became profound and she along with Dellacqua won the doubles title in Strasbourg against the Chan sisters.

Barty seemed more comfortable at singles and took down even significantly ranked players as Johanna Konta, Aga Radwanska and Karolina Pliskova at Wuhan, even defeating Wimbledon champ Garbine Muguruza. Last season 2017 Barty reached her highest singles ranking of no.

17 and at Wuhan made it through the finals but only to be defeated by France's Caroline Garcia in three hard fought sets. Barty developed a new attitude on the ocurts and was enjoying both levels of play again in 2018. She paired this time testing her doubles challenge without Dellacqua with CoCo Vandeweghe to win the Miami Open doubles title.

"CoCo, it's been a hell of a start ot our partnership. Hopefully we can have a few more tournaments out her and a few more titles behind us", Barty had said happily to tennis.com.au media. The break from tennis seems to have left Ashleigh Barty with renewed spirit for the game she's played as a youngster and her doubles partner's retirement has shown that Barty is not only a one-dimensional player but can hold her own on any court, any surface and with perhaps any partner.

She has rose to no. 7 doubles in the world and her singles rankings is in the Top 20. Will Ashleigh Barty's doubles career suffer due to Casey Dellacqua's retirement? Not really. The dynamics and strategies that Barty has learned from partnering with Dellacqua could only be an asset that she'll take with her throughout the end of her career.