This is the world of tennis without its world number one. Ashley Barty decided to end his career with only 25 years on Wednesday, March 23. “Full“, plus “exhausted“, the Aussie has finally ticked all the boxes on her target list. She may not be remembered for the length of her dominance, but it will have been with rare regularity on the circuit. A look back at a brief but successful career.
A rare figure of stability
If there is one aspect that will remain in Ashleigh Barty’s career, it is consistency. On a WTA circuit where outbursts are essential, the Australian has positioned herself as the safe bet. Since 2017, she has continued to progress until reaching the throne of No. 1 in the world on June 23, 2019, which she only ceded for a short month to Naomi Osaka in August of the same year.
From August 10, 2020 to March 23, 2022, Ashleigh Barty remained comfortably at the top of her sport. In all, she’s 120 weeks of dominance, including 84 in a row just before she retired. A longevity that we had observed the most since the heyday of Serena Williams, between February 2013 and September 2016. Between her two reigns, six other players regained the throne, each time briefly (Kerber, Pliskova, Muguruza, Halep, Wozniacki and Osaka).
Ashleigh Barty has rarely disappointed. In 272 matches played since 2017, the Queensland champions have won 211, a shooting percentage of 77.5%. Her star season is still 2021 with 42 wins to just nine losses. 2022 was destined to be a new vintage, as she had just won all 11 of her matches, straddling Adelaide and the Australian Open, which she won in passing.
A career worthy of the greatest
Ashleigh Barty and her smashing backhand cut that leave the WTA circuit, is also the best record of the last four seasons that places the racket, with 12 tournaments won (15 in her entire career). In 2019, the Australian revealed herself to the entire world by winning her first Grand Slam tournament in France, at Roland-Garros. In the final she crushed the Czech Marketa Vondrousova (6-1, 6-3). We will have to wait until 2021 to see her brandishing a major trophy again.
At Wimbledon, on the surface that was proportionally her most successful (56 wins to 16 losses), the versatile Aussie won her second major after a fine three-set battle in the final against Karolina Pliskova. The third, the most anticipated, arrived in 2022 and will remain as the end point of her career. On January 29, Barty was crowned at home at the Australian Open against Danielle Collins after an immaculate streak, syears losing a single set. Enough to free an entire town that had been waiting for its champion since Chris O’Neil in 1978.
Lacking a weak point, the Australian built her reign on a combination of power and precision. She also had a formidable serve that made her theace queen in 2021, the player who has scored the most winning services throughout the season. His very early ball grip and his very worked cut caused problems for all the players on the circuit.
Only one major will be missing from his collection, the US Open, from which he never got past the round of 16, but which he won in doubles, with Coco Vandeweghe in 2018. And if he has one less Grand Slam than Naomi Osaka, titled four times since 2018, Ashleigh Barty he will not have earned all his titles on a single surface. She is only the fifth player in history to win three majors on different surfaces (hard, grass, clay) after Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf and Serena Williams.
A star in Australia, but less known abroad
One of the peculiarities of his career is undoubtedly the lack of knowledge that the general public has of him. If Chris Evert, Serena Williams or even more recently Naomi Osaka have crossed the borders of their sport, we can say that this is not necessarily the case for the Australian. On the other hand, in Australia, the number one in the world is an absolute star, both in her performances and in her personality.
“She is the most beloved of Australia’s last great men and women.said Courtney Walsh, an Australian sports journalist, the newspaper The world. There has been a “Barty effect” in Australia. The tennis federation has announced a 30% increase in the practice of tennis among children in 2021, after its coronation at Wimbledon. An effect that is even stronger with Aboriginal youth who have found a champion to identify with.
Herself of Aboriginal origin, Barty has been involved in developing tennis with marginalized populations. And her rejection of her “star system” allowed her to carve out an immaculate reputation.
He had already retired in 2014
Ashleigh Barty wasn’t always a tennis player. In 2014, the Australian had put her high-level tennis career on hold for… cricket, a very popular sport in Australia and in which she could also play with the professionals. Her Outstandingly, he participated in the national championship with the Brisbane club, where he is from, playing about ten games.
“It was too much and too fast for me to travel so much at such a young age. He wanted to experience life as a normal teenager.“, she told Cricket.com. But he had ended up returning to the courts just over a year after the start of this new experience, with his first steps in ITF tournaments, before embarking on what was to be the most sumptuous stage of his career. What questioned the credibility of the announcement of the end of her life as a tennis player?