Ash Barty reveals why she REALLY decided to quit tennis in her new book – as the champ explains she was battling depression and felt like she had become a ‘robot’
- Ash Barty reveals reasons behind her early retirement in new autobiography
- My Dream Time details her lack of inspiration after she won Wimbledon in 2021
- I think I’m done … I have got nothing left, no spark,’ she told a training partner
- Barty also discusses depression and expectation that sometimes derailed her
Ash Barty has opened up on her shock decision to quit tennis while at the top of the sport in an extract from her forthcoming autobiography, My Dream Time.
In the new book Barty reveals how the fierce desire that had made her a champion began to dim after she won Wimbledon in 2021.
In an extract published by The Courier-Mail on Friday night, the three-time grand slam champion recalled a moment of fury at her manager Nikki Mathias’ house on the Gold Coast after she’d won Wimbledon.
‘I don’t know what I’m playing for anymore. I think I’m done … I have got nothing left, no spark,’ Barty told Ben Mathias, Nikki’s husband and Barty’s training partner.
She admits that after winning the one title she had always dreamed of since taking up the sport, the thought of more training and touring felt ‘pointless’.
After winning Wimbledon in 2021, Ash Barty said the thought of more training and touring felt ‘pointless’. Pictured, winning the 2018 WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai in China
‘I don’t know what I’m playing for anymore. I think I’m done … I have got nothing left, no spark,’ Barty told Ben Mathias, her training partner. Pictured, the cover of her new autobiography, My Dream Time
‘I see now that all sport is mountain climbing,’ she writes.
‘We set our sights on a summit and, step by step, we trudge towards that peak … But what do we do when we reach the pinnacle – when we finally win our Grand Final or our World Cup or our Wimbledon? Do we stop, sit, enjoy the view and breathe? Do we take the time to appreciate what we’ve done, and move on to something new?
‘No. In sport, we simply return to base camp every year and begin the journey of attempting to summit once again.’
In the book Barty goes into detail about how she overcame periods of depression, self-doubt and expectation from the Australian public to become the number one female player in the world.
At some points she would ‘on occasion (fall) to pieces when it all became too much’, according to the book.
Barty said she was determined she would not make a comeback and also scotches rumours she plans a career in professional golf, saying she was happy after marrying partner Gary Kissick (pictured) and living at her home at Springfield, Ipswich, Queensland
She writes that having made the decision to prematurely end her career, she become ‘robotic’… and it was this change in attitude which led to her historic Australian Open victory against Danielle Collins earlier this year.
After announcing her retirement decision in March, which her team had remarkably been able to keep quiet, she reveals she received messages from high-profile names including golfer Adam Scott, actor Hugh Jackman, then Opposition leader Anthony Albanese and then Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
But she only took one call – that of fellow Indigenous trailblazer and hero Evonne Goolagong Cawley.
Barty said she was determined she would not make a comeback and also scotches rumours she plans a career in professional golf, saying she was happy after marrying partner Gary Kissick and living at her home at Springfield, Ipswich.
‘The last six or seven months of my life have been everything I have ever wanted, she write. ‘I’m loving the way my life is at the moment.’
My Dream Time: A Memoir Of Tennis & Teamwork by Ash Barty is due to be published on November 2.