Ash Barty confirms she has no plans to return to professional sport after competing in Icons Series golf event

Ash Barty seems to have decided to return to professional sports once and for all, as she confirmed there are no plans to return to the world stage.

The 25-year-old shocked the tennis world when she retired from playing shortly after winning her third Grand Slam at the Australian Open in January.

But almost immediately rumors began circulating about Barty – who is known to be a former professional WBBL cricketer and a practical golfer winning her local women’s competition – pursuing a career in another professional sport.

The Queenslander has sparked rumors that she will be taking up golf professionally after spending more time on the green and behind the Icons Series tournament at St Andrews where fellow Aussie Cameron Smith triumphed at the British Open.

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But she revealed she had no intention of returning to professional sport during a radio interview with 101.9 The Fox Melbourne to announce her Little Ash book series.

“You just can’t accept that I don’t want to play professional sports anymore,” Barty told Fifi Box hosts Brendan Fevola and Nick Cody.

“I love golf, it’s one of my hobbies. It won’t be my job, I don’t intend to make it my job, but I hack once a week if I can — and I play four of them.

“There is no need, no desire for me to play a professional sport, especially golf. I love it as a walk with my girlfriends and my friends but yes, not for me.

Barty was recently playing at the Icons Series tournament – a series of exhibitions where global sports stars compete in teams – where she doubled down on her comments on the future of professional golf.

“It’s something I like to play socially with my friends on some of the most beautiful courses in the world. But definitely not something I want to take too seriously,’ she told St Andrews.

“It’s funny. I love it. It’s always been a hobby of mine, so it’s nice to experience really cool things like this today.

Tennis fans around the world are eager for a return from Barty, but she has also dismissed suggestions that she will return to the game as she revealed she hasn’t even watched the Wimbledon final.

Barty told the Guardian she has no regrets about retiring and said she had barely hit a tennis ball or watched a game since retiring.

“Once in a while we have it as background noise, but it’s very rare that I sit down and watch a game from start to finish with any interest,” she said.

“I’ve hit enough tennis balls in my life. I don’t need to see other people hit them too.

During his career, Barty has won three Grand Slam tournaments – the 2019 French Open, 2021 Wimbledon and the 2022 Australian Open – and finished with 15 WTA titles.

She also spent 114 weeks as the number one female player and amassed a whopping $23,829,071 in prize money.

Sara R. Cicero