Australian tennis sensation Ash Barty has made a return to the tennis court, although perhaps not in the manner many devoted fans had anticipated.
Barty took centre stage alongside fellow tennis star Pat Rafter on Friday, September 15 to announce the highly anticipated return of the Brisbane International for 2024.
The Brisbane International, last held in its full format in 2019, will kick off once again during week one of the “Australian Summer of Tennis”.
In what promises to be a blockbuster event, 180 top ranked men’s and women’s players will compete from December 31 2023 to January 7 2024 for a record $3.1 million in prize money.
While many were no doubt pleased to see Barty back on the tennis court any speculation of a return to competition for the 27-year-old was quickly shot down.
“I don’t have the time – I don’t have the time to train, I don’t have the time to prepare, and I have so many great memories out on this court, and now I just get to create new memories,” Barty said.
“I’m certainly not coming out of retirement. Pat may be more likely than me.
“I’m not coming back,” she added.
While Barty’s return to tennis would likely be welcomed by fans, it’s understandable that her focus is currently on navigating parenthood alongside her husband, Gary Kissick, following the arrival of their first child.
Barty delighted fans across the country after announcing the birth of her first child, taking to Instagram to announce the exciting news with an adorable picture of the little bundle of joy, a “beautiful boy” named Hayden.
“Our beautiful boy. Welcome to the world, Hayden!” she wrote.
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Barty’s baby news set off a wave of celebration with messages of congratulations and well-wishes pouring in from fans across the country.
The well wishes and celebrations poured in for a second time when Barty shared more treasured moments with her growing family.
In her most recent update, Barty outdid herself by treating fans to an enchanting series of new photos featuring baby Hayden.
The first showed the new mum holding a sleeping Hayden who is dressed in a cute dog-themed long-sleeve shirt, overalls, and a bucket hat.
The collection also includes a sweet photo of their two-month-old baby smiling for the camera and a candid snap of Barty’s husband and Hayden wearing matching red outfits.
“Outnumbered by the boys. Love every single minute,” Barty wrote alongside the photos.
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In addition to sharing her journey into motherhood on social media, Barty also recently offered an intimate glimpse into her experience during a candid interview with the Herald Sun.
Although Barty’s stellar career no doubt brought her joy and an experience like no other, the former World No. 1 revealed that motherhood is “the best thing” she has ever done.
“And hardest thing I’ve ever done,” she told the publication.