Tennis

Ash Barty on Life After Tennis and Why She Missed Wimbledon Finals

Ashleigh Barty won the 2021 Wimbledon. EPA-EFE/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA

Wimbledon offered a couple of compelling singles finals last weekend.

Former world No. 1 Ash Barty missed both.

The 2021 Wimbledon winner, who retired shortly after capturing the Australian Open in January, told The Guardian’s Sean Ingle she didn’t watch either final. Barty wasn’t tuned into finals weekend for a simple reason: she’s hit so many tennis balls in her life she doesn’t need to see others do the same.

“I didn’t watch this year’s Wimbledon finals,” Barty told The Guardian. “Sorry to disappoint. Obviously I was rapt for Ons and Elena, who are both brilliant girls. And it was obviously awesome to see Nick, who I’ve known for over a dozen years, get to the final.

“But since retiring I’ve probably watched as many matches as I did when I was playing, which was slim to none. Occasionally we’ll have it on as background noise but it’s very seldom that I’ll sit down and watch a match from start to end with any interest. I hit enough tennis balls in my life. I don’t need to see others hitting them as well.”

Three-time Grand Slam champion Barty has spent some of her retirement driving the ball deep. Barty has been pursuing her passion for golf. She is among the athletes and celebrities invited to play the old course at St. Andrews as part of the 150th Open at St. Andrews celebration.

Barty said life after tennis is “incredible” and has no plans to launch a tennis comeback.

“I’ve no regrets about retiring,” Barty said. “Not one. I knew it was the right time for me. It was what I wanted to do.

“And I know that a lot of people may still not understand it. But I hope they respect that in the sense that it was my decision. And yeah, it’s been incredible. It’s been everything that I’ve ever wanted.”

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