Ash Barty: ‘I didn’t watch this year’s Wimbledon finals. I’ve hit enough tennis balls in my life’

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Australian insists she has no regrets about walking away from tennis at the peak of her powers, as she immerses herself in golf

A few hours after Elena Rybakina lifted the famous Wimbledon trophy on Centre Court, an intriguing wager was placed at another cathedral of British sport, 500 miles away. It involved two greats in their respective fields, Kevin Pietersen and Ash Barty, and a friendly disagreement over whether the former world No 1 might yet be enticed back to tennis following her shock retirement in March. The former England cricket captain was adamant it would eventually happen. Barty was equally adamant there was no chance. And so on Saturday evening at St Andrews, a £20 bet was struck between the pair.

But if the experience of watching Barty down the years has taught us anything, it is that the straightest shooter in sport says what she means and rarely loses – whatever the stakes. And, in her first major interview since quitting tennis at the height of her powers aged 25, the sport’s former first lady makes it clear she is not for turning. Not when she is having the time of her life travelling the world, playing golf and steadily ticking items off her bucket list.

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Written by Exclusive by Sean Ingle
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2022/jul/11/ash-barty-a-lot-of-people-may-still-not-understand-my-decision-to-retire under the title “Ash Barty: ‘I didn’t watch this year’s Wimbledon finals. I’ve hit enough tennis balls in my life’”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.