The world of tennis is abuzz with excitement and anticipation as calls for Australian tennis star Ash Barty to make a swift return to the court continue to grow.
The calls come just a day after the 27-year-old announced the birth of her son.
Barty took to Instagram, alongside her husband Garry Kissick, 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!” the new parents wrote.
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While the news of Barty’s arrival was met with an outpouring of congratulatory messages, the exciting news also sparked a renewed desire from fellow tennis stars for Barty to make a return to the court.
Former tennis rival Ons Jabeur was among the first to broach the subject of Barty’s return while congratulating her on the birth of her baby boy.
“Fantastic news. I’m very happy for her that she had a baby boy. I’m very happy for her because this is something that I want to have, a family,” Jabeur said.
“I’m sure she’s enjoying being a mum right now rather than being on a tennis court waiting to play at Wimbledon.
“I hope that she will change her mind like Wozniacki and comes back maybe in one or two years.”
World No.2 Aryna Sabalenka also weighed in on Barty’s possible return, telling reporters that although she is “super-happy for her” she does miss Barty’s presence on the tennis court.
“I’m super-happy for her. I wish her all the best in her new chapter of her life. I think she’s really enjoying it,” she said.
“I really miss Ash on tour. I really enjoyed our matches against each other, all our battles, but she made her decision and I really respect it.
“She has everything to come back. She’s very talented. I feel like she already made it once.
“If she’s going to decide to come back playing tennis, she’s going to do well.”
Barty sent shockwaves through the world of tennis when she took to Instagram in March 2022 to announce to her adoring fans that she was stepping away from the sport.
Alongside her former doubles partner, Casey Dellacqua, the former World No.1 told fans “today is difficult and filled with emotion for me as I announce my retirement from tennis.”
“I wasn’t sure how to share this news with you so I asked my good friend @caseydellacqua to help me. I am so thankful for everything this sport has given me and leave feeling proud and fulfilled,” she said at the time.
“Thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way, I’ll always be grateful for the lifelong memories that we created together.”