Hopes grow for Ash Barty’s sporting comeback following Wimbledon return

Jul 10, 2024
Barty recently addressed her highly anticipated return to the sport she once dominated, revealing that the decision was a "very easy" one to make. Source: Getty Images.

As anticipation builds for tennis sensation Ash Barty’s return to Wimbledon, questions have emerged about whether her appearance at the tournament will mark her comeback to the sport.

Barty will be taking part in an invitational doubles match with friend and former doubles partner Casey Dellacqua, her first on-court appearance since announcing her retirement in 2022.

Now former tennis great, Kim Clijsters, who made a successful return to the sport after becoming a mother, questioned whether the 28-year-old could be tempted to do the same.

“It sounds very similar to me many years ago,” Clijsters said.

“First of all, I’m excited she’s back. I never got to play against Ash, but I’ve practised against her before, so it’s exciting to have her playing on the legends tour.

“A few years ago I was the youngest legend out there, but I’m definitely not any more. It’s cool – and who knows? Last year, seeing Caroline Wozniacki practice in between our legends matches, we were all like, ‘What are you doing? Why are you practising this much?’

“So there is definitely a part of me that hopes she gets triggered by the challenge and the adventure that it is to come back on tour with a family.

“It will be interesting. I don’t know if she has any desire. I hope I get to play against her and have a chat.”

Barty recently addressed her highly anticipated return to the sport she once dominated, telling 7News that the decision was a “very easy” one to make.

“The tournament invites you to play on one of the best courts in the world and I get an opportunity to play with my best mate – who would say no?” she said.

“It was a strange feeling walking through the gates again because it wasn’t memories that came up – the forehands or backhands or serves or the match point, it was the emotions that came with that moment.

“It’ll always be a massive part of my life.”

While she is excited to make a return to the court, when asked whether her upcoming match signalled a comeback, Barty was quick to set the record straight.

“Not for me, I’m very happy,” she said.

“I’ve had the most fulfilling journey in my career as a tennis player and now I’m just beginning that journey as a mum.

“I’ve obviously been very busy with the next chapter of my life and have been loving every minute… but I’m excited to spend a bit of time on the court to try and just have some fun.

“So a bit rusty coming in but looking forward to it.”

-with AAP.

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