Ashleigh Barty revealed seeing people doubting if she was the best player in the world motivated her to prove a point at the 2022 Australian Open. After becoming a Grand Slam champion at the 2019 French Open, Barty collected her second Major title at 2021 Wimbledon.
In the remainder of the 2021 season, Barty appeared in just three more tournaments as she suffered a shock first-round loss at the Tokyo Olympics and a surprise US Open third-round defeat. When Barty - who at the time was by far the top-ranked player in the world - returned to action at the start of the 2022 season, she won back-to-back titles at the Adelaide International and Australian Open.
Barty on being motivated to shut up her doubters
“There was plenty of noise [before the tournament]. [People were asking], ‘Is Ash the best player in the world?’ And that made me angry. That really p****d’ me off because I know I am the best player in the world," Barty said on the Hamish McLachlan podcast Let’s Talk, via Tennis365.
After winning her third Grand Slam title at the 2022 Australian Open, Barty took some time off and then also withdrew from Indian Wells and Miami. At the time, many were surprised that Barty was skipping Indian Wells and Miami but no one was making a big deal out of it.
Then in 2022 March, Barty announced a shock retirement from tennis at the age of 25 while she was still ranked at No 1 in the world. Since then, Barty has said several times she doesn't intend to ever return to pro tennis. After retiring, Barty tied the knot with her long-time partner Garry Kissick.
Earlier this month, Barty took to social media to share some happy news, revealing that she and Kissick welcomed their first child. When Barty retired, she said her goal was to give focus on some other non-tennis things.