Ashleigh Barty reveals why she will not be making a comeback
Ashleigh Barty has revealed she will not be coming out of retirement from tennis to make a comeback because she does not have the time to train or prepare.
The former world No 1 also declared that the women’s game has “adapted” and “grown” and feels there is currently “more of a blend” among the WTA top 10.
Barty shocked the tennis world with her retirement from the sport at the age of 25 in March 2022, just two months after winning the 2022 Australian Open. She became the second player to retire while holding the world No 1 ranking after Justine Henin.
In an interview with friend and former doubles partner Casey Dellacqua following her retirement, Barty said: “I don’t have the physical drive, the emotional want and everything it takes to challenge yourself at the very top of the level any more. I am spent.”
As well as the Australian Open, Barty won the French Open in 2019 and Wimbledon in 2021 – securing 15 WTA singles titles overall.
In July this year, Barty became a mother, giving birth to a son called Hayden.
Speaking to announce the return of the Brisbane International event alongside two-time major winner Pat Rafter, Barty was asked about a potential comeback to the WTA Tour.
“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,” said the Australian.
“I’m certainly not coming out of retirement. Pat [Rafter] may be more likely than me.”
The Brisbane WTA tournament will be held next year for the first time since 2020, while the ATP edition will be played for the first time since 2019.
The 27-year-old discussed the resurrection of the hard-court event, which is held in the build-up to the Australian Open.
“It’s exciting for the Brisbane International to be back [in] the very first week of the (2024) calendar,” said Barty.
“This is a great court. For me it was a court filled with so many happy memories of coming back and training here, and learning my craft on this court. The players love to come here, they love to come to Brisbane. They love the atmosphere of this crowd.”
Rafter, another Australian legend who reached world No 1, also gave his thoughts.
“I remember talking to a lot of fans who came here, and they really loved the event how it used to be having the men and women,” the two-time US Open champion said.
“It really makes the whole Brisbane centre really work. Brisbane has a really great climate to get ready for the Aussie Open as well. It’s a great stop, and it would have been a great stop if this was available when I played. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.”
Barty also revealed she still follows tennis as she discussed the players currently at the top of the women’s tour.
“The game’s adapted, it’s grown, there’s more of a blend in the top 10 of women that can use different styles, go to plan B and C to adapt,” assessed the three-time Grand Slam winner.
“Big hitters like Aryna [Sabalenka] are doing well, others are using flair like Ons [Jabeur] and Iga [Swiatek]. Come Brisbane International time, there’s going to be a mix of different styles that creates some really exciting match-ups.”
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