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‘No secrets’: Ash Barty explains shock call


The 25-year-old told the world via a social media post on Wednesday she was walking away from the sport, less than two months after winning the Australian Open.Elaborating in a chat with great mate and former doubles partner Casey Dellacqua, Barty said she was content to quit now, even though others will question why she’s leaving tennis with so much more still left to give.Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Barty said she wasn’t “wasn’t hiding anything” and she just felt the time was right to retire from tennis. “I’ve said exactly what I wanted to say,” she said.“I’m an open book. I’m not hiding anything, I’ve got no secrets. I am just so proud of all of the work that I have done with my team. “We have done this together right from the start, have enjoyed every single minute and we have no regrets. We have achieved so much together and it’s been fun on the way.“I just knew for me the time was right. I’d given absolutely everything that I could to this sport, and I knew that it wouldn’t be fair to my team and the people that have invested so much time and energy into my life to not be 100 per cent commit for them. “It’s been a hell of a journey. I wouldn’t change a thing and I certainly have no regrets.”After winning the Australian Open, Barty made the surprising call to pull out of major tournaments in the US due to an ongoing hip injury, but she denied that was a cover story while she contemplated retiring from tennis. “No,” she said. “That was an old injury that we repeatedly over my career had to manage, and that was the truth. “After the Australian Open it just didn’t heal quite as well as I would have liked and I didn’t get to get back on court until a few weeks ago. That’s what I mean. We were never hiding anything. “The fact is I have given everything I can to this sport. I’m absolutely spent and had nothing more to give. I’m just really excite now for what comes next and I’m excited for the new challenges.”After achieving her dream of winning Wimbledon last year, Barty said she was determined to give the Australian Open “one last crack” in January. She revealed she had been considering retirement “for a while” and becoming the first Australian woman in 44 years to win at Melbourne Park was the perfect way to finish her career. “Yeah, we’ve been in discussions for a while,” Barty said. “After Wimbledon my perspective changed a lot and there was this beautiful challenge of trying to play the Australian Open and trying to win an Australian Open which was always another goal of mine, and to do that as a team and to do that with the people that meant so much to me was incredible.“There is no perfect way, there is no perfect timing but this was our perfect way, and it was a great finish.“That crowd (for) the final of the Australian Open was like nothing I have ever played in front of before and it was so much fun to enjoy that with them as well as my team.“Yeah, it was a brilliant way to finish.“I have so much love and support, and I’m so lucky to get so much love and support here in Australia, and so many people have made my career so much more fun, and being able to share that with them and experience that with them made it all the better, and I think the Australian public allowed me to be myself. “They allowed me to make mistakes, they allowed me to be imperfect and it just made it so much more fun, and it really did make that Australian Open so much more enjoyable for all of us to be able to go, ‘You know what? This is one last crack. Let’s see what we can do’. “And it was really cool.”Barty was tight-lipped when asked what she plans to do next now she has retired from tennis.“You have to wait and see,” she said with a grin. “I’m not giving you everything right now. It’s all right. You can be patient. Patience is a virtue.”When quizzed again on what the future holds for her, Barty kept her cards close to her chest. “You’ll have to wait and see,” she said. “Be patient. It’s all right.”The Queenslander said she had a hit of tennis as recently as 10 days ago, but is looking forward to pursuing her other passions.“I have always wanted to have the time to contribute more in other ways, and I think now I have got that opportunity, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have so many opportunities given to me from tennis, and now I’m ready to really give back in ways that I’m passionate about and visiting Uluru and being up in the community was just incredible,” Barty said.“That’s what lights me up inside. That’s what makes me happy, and we have done a few of those trips now and I can’t wait to do a few more.”

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