Tennis legend Ash Barty breaks her silence on Wimbledon return

Jul 02, 2024
When asked whether her upcoming match signalled a comeback, Barty was quick to set the record straight. Source: Getty Images.

When news broke of Aussie tennis sensation Ash Barty’s long-awaited return to Wimbledon, fans near and far couldn’t contain their excitement.

Now, Barty herself has 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.”

The 28-year-old three-time Grand Slam champion will be taking part in an invitational doubles match with friend and former doubles partner Casey Dellacqua but 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.”

Barty has rarely stepped on the tennis court since her shock retirement announcement in 2022, instead focusing on being a mother to her son Hayden in what she has previously described as a significant shift in priorities.

Barty reflected on the stark contrast between her previous life as a professional athlete and her current role as a mother in an interview with Haper’s Bazaar Australia.

“Honestly, my tennis career feels like a lifetime ago when I am with him, it’s a totally different world from motherhood,” she told the publication.

“Tennis makes you a selfish athlete where you structure your days around what you need to do to perform — that is what matters every day.

“As a mum, what I love the most is that the job is selfless and it’s all about raising that child.

“It’s about someone else and creating an environment that allows your child to grow, learn and flourish and help them become their own person. I have loved both, but there is nothing better than being a mum.

“When I am with Hayden, I am 100 per cent with him. I don’t want to be sitting there on my phone while he is playing. It’s about connecting with him and staying in that moment.”

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