Ashleigh Barty on her ‘double-edged sword’ and missing the ‘thrill of the fight’: ‘It’s scary but it’s exciting’

Ashleigh Barty addresses the media

It has “been a crazy few days” and she admits she will miss “the thrill of the fight”, but Ashleigh Barty is excited for what the future holds.

Barty announced her retirement from professional tennis on Wednesday, bowing out while the reigning Australian Open and Wimbledon champion, and leading the WTA Rankings.

Her decision to walk away from tennis at the age of 25 stunned many and although she was initially a little stressed out about the announcement, Barty is at peace with her decision.

Comment: Ashleigh Barty’s retirement exposes a gaping void in the women’s game

She told a press conference in Brisbane: “It’s obviously been a crazy few days. It’s been really overwhelming the amount of support and love that we have received as a team.

“I think it’s been obviously a changing time, but I’m really excited for what’s to come next and the new opportunities for me as a person.”

Barty made her announcement during a social media interview with Casey Dellacqua and now that the big news is out of the way she is ready to tackle new adventures.

She added: “Obviously timing is everything. It’s never easy. But I felt like the timing was right for me. It was just about getting the messaging right. Sitting down with Case was really hard. It was brilliant, it was a perfect way for us to do it, but it was hard to chat to your best mate and talk about how much your life is going to change.

“It was really nice to sit down and reminisce and talk about the things that mattered most to me. Yeah, it’s scary but it’s exciting. It’s a double-edged sword. Even though it is something new, it’s something I’m very excited for, new challenges. I can’t wait to be able to do that as the person and not necessarily just the athlete.”

She will definitely miss the competitive nature of professional tennis, but hopes to “get the adrenaline in different ways”.

“I love the competition. That’s what has driven me the most in my career, is that one-on-one competition and the thrill of the fight,” she said.

“I know that I’ll miss it 100%. But I’ll be able to get the adrenaline in different ways. Those ways will remain to be seen.

“But I know that I’ve been so fortunate to have so many incredible moments on the court where that competitive nature has come out on top and has really flourished at times.

“It’s been an incredible career.”