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Ash Barty has opened up on her shock decision to quit tennis while at the top of the sport in an extract from her forthcoming autobiography, My Dream Time

by Tamara Service (2022-11-05)


Ash Barty has opened up on her shock decision to quit tennis while at the top of the sport in an extract from her forthcoming autobiography, My Dream Time.

In the new book Barty reveals how the fierce desire that had made her a champion began to dim after she won Wimbledon in 2021. 

In an extract published by on Friday night, the three-time grand slam champion recalled a moment of fury at her manager Nikki Mathias' house on the Gold Coast after she'd won Wimbledon. 

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'I don't know what I'm playing for anymore.
I think I'm done … I have got nothing left, no spark,' Barty told Ben Mathias, Nikki's husband and Barty's training partner. 


She admits that after winning the one title she had always dreamed of since taking up the sport, the thought of more training and touring felt 'pointless'.

'I see now that all sport is mountain climbing,' she writes. 

'We set our sights on a summit and, step by step, we trudge towards that peak … But what do we do when we reach the pinnacle - when we finally win our Grand Final or our World Cup or our Wimbledon? Do we stop, sit, enjoy the view and breathe?

Do we take the time to appreciate what we've done, and move on to something new? 

After winning Wimbledon in 2021, Ash Barty said the thought of more training and touring felt 'pointless'.

Pictured, winning the 2018 WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai in China

'I don't know what I'm playing for anymore.

I think I'm done … I have got nothing left, no spark,' Barty told Ben Mathias, her training partner. Pictured, the cover of her new autobiography, My Dream Time

'No. In sport, we simply return to base camp every year and begin the journey of attempting to summit once again.'

In the book Barty goes into detail about how she overcame periods of depression, self-doubt and expectation from the Australian public to become the number one female player in the world.

At some points she would 'on occasion (fall) to pieces when it all became too much', according to the book.

She writes that having made the decision to prematurely end her career, she become 'robotic'...

and it was this change in attitude which led to her historic Australian Open victory against Danielle Collins earlier this year. 

Barty said she was determined she would not make a comeback and also scotches rumours she plans a career in professional golf, saying she was happy after marrying partner Gary Kissick (pictured) and living at her home at Springfield, Ipswich, Queensland

In the period between winning 2021 Wimbledon and 2022 Australia Open titles, Barty was in the middle of a training session on her exercise bike when she suddenly quit mid-ride, 'something I have never done before'.

'I don't quit.

Ever,' she said. 

'I'm physically capable but cannot be knackered. This sounds like a little thing, but it's not - it's a clear red flag.'


After announcing her retirement decision in March, which her team had remarkably been able to keep quiet, she reveals she received messages from high-profile names including golfer Adam Scott, actor Hugh Jackman, then Opposition leader Anthony Albanese and then Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

But she only took one call - that of fellow Indigenous trailblazer and hero Evonne Goolagong Cawley.

Writing her memoirs was an emotional process for Barty, who admitted many tears were shed as she relived previously untold stories about her three Grand Slam titles, including winning Wimbledon with a 10cm tear in her abdomen.

Writing about her close-tight family, the brutal isolation of being a teenager on tour and quitting tennis to play cricket also brough back emotional memories.

'I tried to keep it raw and honest and not hide anything,' Barty told News Corp.

'We put it together in a way where we tried to let everyone in.'

Barty said she was determined she would not make a comeback and also scotches rumours she plans a career in professional golf, saying she was happy after marrying partner Gary Kissick and living at her home at Springfield, Ipswich.

'The last six or seven months of my life have been everything I have ever wanted, she write.

'I'm loving the way my life is at the moment.'

Barty earned US$23.8 million (AU$37.75 million) in prize money and millions more in sponsorships, making her the 14th best-paid female player in history.

She made US$3 million from endorsements last year and was the eighth-highest paid female athlete in 2021, pocketing US$6.9 million, according to Forbes. 

Her total career earnings are estimated to be around the US$53 million-mark (AU$70 million).

My Dream Time: A Memoir Of Tennis & Teamwork by Ash Barty is due to be published on November 2.

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