Annabel Croft explains why Ashleigh Barty retiring was ‘real blow’ for tennis

Annabel Croft said there “was so much to admire” in Ashleigh Barty’s game and it was a “real blow” for the game when the Australian announced a shock decision to retire from tennis. 

In March, Barty announced a shock retirement from tennis at the age of 25. 

At the moment of her retirement announcement, Barty was the top-ranked player in the world. 

Barty started this season by winning back-to-back titles at the Adelaide International and Australian Open. 

Barty was without a loss in 2022 and the top-ranked player in the world at the moment of her retirement announcement. 

“She showed everyone how to end a career on a real high after winning the Australian Open and retiring right away, but it wasn’t great for women’s tennis,” Croft told Tennis 365. “It was a great story. She took time to reach the top, had some time playing cricket and now she wants to do something else. Clearly she has other interests in life, but it was a real blow for our sport when she retired as she brought so much to the game. There was so much to admire in her game and so much for the younger generation to learn from her, so so it is a shame she won’t be around. She wants to do other things in life. Maybe become a Mum, experience new things, so we can only wish her the best.”

Barty admitted it was hard for her to motivate herself 

Last season, Barty accomplished her childhood dream of winning Wimbledon. 

Then in early 2022, Barty achieved another accomplished goal when she won the Australian Open in front of her home fans. 

Winning the Australian Open was the icing on the cake and Barty felt it was the perfect moment for her to walk away from the game. 

Barty has been playing a bit of golf since retiring from tennis and some feel the Australian might decide to pursue another sport professionally.