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Where to now: Barty mentor hints at star’s future


Barty, 25, is also likely to have a wide range of options in other sports, with golf by far the most intriguing.Triple Grand Slam winner Barty retired at the peak of her career on Wednesday, feeling she climbed her sporting mountain with her recent Wimbledon and Australian Open wins and had nothing left to give.The bombshell news sent shock waves around not just Australia but world sport with Barty offering a brief insight into her reasons with a heartfelt video chat with best friend Casey Dellacqua on social media.Barty will have a press conference on Thursday to talk about her future but it is ­unlikely she has anything more planned than her wedding and a few months rest.The offers will cascade in from around the sporting spectrum.Because Barty played a season of cricket with the Brisbane Heat it has been speculated she could make a return to that sport but that is highly unlikely.If she stars in another sport, golf would be the one.Barty plays off a handicap of three at Brookwater Club, where she was 2020 club champion, without ever fully focusing on the sport.A video of her swing was viewed by several Australian golfers on the PGA in America recently and all were ­impressed.Tiger Woods has watched her from close quarters and feels she has great potential.There is a feeling in the golf world Barty has the ability to play golf professionally but whether the self-confessed homebody would like to tour is another matter.Barty once said that the golfing gene is even more deeply embedded in her than the tennis variety. Her father Rob was a top amateur player, her mother Josie and her family played the sport and her fiancé Garry Kissick is a trainee golf professional.While her sporting future is uncertain, Barty is known to be determined to have more “bush’’ visits to Indigenous communities after being deeply touched by her first visit to Uluru recently.Barty’s mentor Goolagong Cawley has spent many years travelling the country to offer inspiration to Indigenous children and Barty, who has an Indigenous heritage, is set to make her own contribution.Goolagong Cawley, who once encouraged Barty to “go wet a line’’ when she needed a break from the game, was delighted by Barty’s decision.“I’m so supportive of Ash, and making a decision that is best for her and makes her happy,” Goolagong Cawley said. “I can’t wait to see what the next chapter brings, and to watch Ash achieve her dreams post tennis.”Barty retired with an emotional social media post, saying: “I know that the time is right now for me to step away and chase other dreams and to put the racquets down.”Barty said had ‘‘given absolutely everything’’ to the sport, adding: “I know that for me, Ash Barty the person has so many dreams she wants to chase after that don’t necessarily involve travelling the world, being away from my family, being away from my home, which is where I’ve always wanted to be, it’s where I’ve grown up.’’Among the tributes was one from fellow grand slam winner Simona Halep.“Ash, what can I say, you know I have tears right? My friend, I will miss you on tour. You were different, and special, and we shared some amazing moments.’’How the world reacted to Barty shockThe sporting world has reacted in shock after Ash Barty announced her retirement from professional tennis. The 25-year-old, who won the Australian Open only two months ago, took to social media to reveal she was stepping away from the sport. Barty said she was, “spent, physically, I don’t have anything more to give.” She retires as the world number one and was favourite to win all three remaining Grand Slams in 2022. Sporting greats from all over the world were quick to pay their respects to the biggest name in women’s tennis. Former Australian tennis ace turned commentator, Jelena Dokic, gave an emotional tribute to 2GB, saying it was never about tennis for Barty.“I didn’t ever think she’d play until 35 and she’s kind of always hinted that. It was more about being happy and being with her family at home. But it (retirement) was definitely a shock.”A tearful Dokic continued: “I’m so emotional — I’m so proud of her, so happy for her that she’s happy and she was able to achieve her dreams. She was able to retire on her own terms.“She set the standard of not how to be just an incredible tennis player but an incredible person — so humble, so genuine.“Being with family has always been number one for her — that’s what I love about Ash; if tennis wasn’t making her happy she wouldn’t keep doing it. Her priority is happiness and family and home.”Dokic, a former Wimbledon semi-finalist and child prodigy, believes Barty’s impact on the game will be felt for generations.“She will change tennis for generations to come, players will be mould their game based on how Ash Barty plays because we haven’t seen this in a very long time – beautiful slice, super technical, game awareness, IQ, everything.NED-3804-Ash-Barty-GraphicBarty’s hero Evonne Goolagong Cawley released a short statement: “I’m so supportive of Ash, and making a decision that is best for her and makes her happy. I can’t wait to see what the next chapter brings, and to watch Ash achieve her dreams post tennis.”Fellow grand slam winner Simona Halep said: “Ash, what can I say, you know I have tears right? My friend, I will miss you on tour. “You were different, and special, and we shared some amazing moments. “What’s next for you? Grand Slam champion in golf?! Be happy and enjoy your life to the max xo Simo” Petra Kvitova added: “Ash, I have no words … actually you are showing your true class leaving tennis in this beautiful way. “I am so happy I could share the court with you. tennis will never be the same without you! I admire you as a player and a person. wishing you only the best!” Andy Murray added: “Happy for (Ash Barty) gutted for tennis. What a player.” Australian Paralympic champion Kurt Fearnley said: “This interview is so beautiful. My brain may have been screaming “what’s the next adventure?” but calling it on her terms as World #1 has cemented Ash Barty as the most badass athlete in this country!!”

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