Ashleigh Barty: Tennis, cricket, golf and now a series of children’s books for former world No 1

Ashleigh Barty addresses the media

Ashleigh Barty is taking up a new challenge and it has nothing to do with playing professional sport as the three-time Grand Slam winner is to release of a series of children’s books.

Barely a month after announcing her shock retirement from tennis, Barty revealed that she is tackling a totally different project as she will write a six-book “Little Ash” series, and some of it will be based on her real-life experiences and her family.

The book, which will be published by HarperCollins, will be available from July.

“This project has been so much fun and something I have always wanted to do,” the Australian said.

Referring to her five-year-old niece, she added: “Lucy was my North Star. She is the perfect age to understand stories and storylines and read chapter books.

“I just love the fact she tells me what she thinks and what she feels and how she feels when she is reading a book.

“Being able to read it to her will be great and to go up to readings to kids in rural areas is something I want to be really hands-on with.”

The former world No 1, who is an avid golfer and who also dabbled in cricket in 2015 as she competed in the inaugural Women’s Big Bash League, will also release a memoir of her life and sporting journey in November.

“At 25 it’s not super-regular that something like this happens but it is a very exciting project,” Barty added.

“Looking back and talking about it has brought me so much joy and heartache and pain but I think it will be a very good read.”