Making it to the top spot of your chosen profession not only attracts a lot of supporters but also its fair share of critics, an issue Australian tennis legend Ash Barty is all too familiar with.
After taking an extended spot on the sidelines due to the global pandemic in 2020, Barty then failed to claim victory in the Australian Open in 2021 which drew considerable criticism and has her well-earned Number 1 spot questioned.
Not one to be deterred, Barty remained as determined as ever in an effort to silence the criticism that had begun to stir. As she took to the court for the Miami Open, Barty achieved just that by claiming victory in the Open and going on to win not only the 2021 Wimbledon but also the 2022 Australian Open.
While promoting her memoir, My Dream Time, Barty said that the success she enjoyed at the Miami Open was “really satisfying” and the criticism only served to encourage her.
“It was probably at a time where I felt some of the doubt really spurred me on,” Barty told reporters.
“I thought, ‘You know what, I know I’m deserving of where I am. I’ve done the work and it’s going to have to take someone playing a really good level of tennis to beat me at this stage.’
“Yeah, it was a really satisfying week and a really fulfilling week in that sense and turned out to be a catapult to a really dominant period for me for a few months.”
Barty retired from her competitive sporting career in March 2022 at the top of her game, sitting on a high at World No. 1 for women’s singles.
The 26-year-old left fans in a state of disbelief when Barty delivered the bombshell announcement that she would no longer continue competing in the sport she had dominated for so long.
View this post on Instagram
Following her retirement, rumours have continued to swirl as to whether the 26 year old would ever pick up her racquet again and return to the court.
However, as reported by The New Daily, Barty denied any suggestions about her returning to tennis at Melbourne Park on Monday, November 7, where she also rejected calls she would start a career in any other competitive sport.
“Nope, I’m done,” she said.
“You can never say never but no. No, no, no. I’m done.
“I miss competing and challenging myself against the best of the world but I don’t miss a lot that comes with it. I’m still competitive with myself when I train at home. I still try and push myself but there’s no white-line fever anymore.
“I never really felt like there was this void that needed to be filled in because there was a genuine sense of fulfilment at the end of my career.
“I don’t think I was still searching for the competitive beast anymore.”