Ashleigh Barty, 27, has issued a very clear and definitive statement that coming back to pro tennis is not really an option for her. Barty, a former three-time Grand Slam champion, shockingly retired at the age of 25 shortly after her 2022 Australian Open win.
On Friday, Australian tennis legend Barty was in Brisbane to announce the return of the Brisbane International, which is set to take place at the start of the 2024 season and for the first time since the pandemic. In July, Barty and her husband welcomed their first child, a baby boy Hayden.
“I don’t have the time – I don’t have the time to train, I don’t have the time to prepare, and I have so many great memories out on this court, and now I just get to create new memories. I’m certainly not coming out of retirement.
Pat (Rafter) may be more likely than me," Barty told Australian media.
Barty hopeful Australian women's tennis will produce some great talents
Currently, Australia doesn't have a single top-100 player on the WTA rankings list.
Barty, a former world No 1, mentored Olivia Gadecki during this year's Australian Open. Barty is willing to help develop Australian talents but she also highlights that the road to the top is not an easy one. “It’s depth, you have to play at your top level, you have to be consistent across a 52-week calendar to keep your ranking up with the top of the world.
I think it’s exciting for the women’s game, it creates hunger, passion and drive for girls wanting to be the best and knowing there’s an opportunity to take that top spot. There’s obviously not as many girls in the top 100 as we would like, but there’s plenty coming through that are learning their craft, developing.
It takes time to understand how you think you can fit in, how you think you can grow into your play. I’m excited for the next five or 10 years to see where they can get to. The game’s adapted, it’s grown, you can see there’s more of a blend in the top 10 I believe in women who are able to use different styles of play.
Come Brisbane International time, there’s going to be a mix of different styles that creates some really exciting match-ups," Barty said.