Ash Barty is playing at Wimbledon but not the way fans want

Barty dusts off her tennis racquet for a Wimbledon exhibition
Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Tennis fans are still mourning Australian player and former World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty's abrupt retirement after winning the 2022 Australian Open.

Barty is only 28 years old but accomplished a lot in a little time on the tennis court. She won three Grand Slam singles titles (2019 French Open, 2021 Wimbledon, and 2022 Australian Open), the WTA Tour Finals in 2019, a doubles title at the 2018 US Open, and an Olympiz bronze medal in mixed doubles at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

This happened after she took her first break from the game from 2016-2018 to play semi-professional cricket. For these reasons, fans hoped that her 2022 retirement was a short-term one. Barty is now married and the mother of son Henry born in July 2023, and she is coming back to tennis at Wimbledon.

Barty is playing a Wimbledon exhibition

Barty has never given any indication that she is considering another comeback. She is happily immersed in her post-tennis life so it is somewhat surprising that she is headed back to the court at Wimbledon for a legends doubles exhibition with fellow Australian Casey Dellacqua.

However, Barty was already expected to be at Wimbledon because she will be one of the BBC commentators for the tournament along with another fellow Aussi Nick Kyrgios so it was probably a matter of being at the right place and right time that she agreed to play in the exhibition.

Regardless of her reasons, the Wimbledon exhibition will now be must-see television (though it is probably not usually televised) for Ash Barty fans. Her game had a beauty too it that has not been emulated on the women's side since she left.

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Barty is welcome back on any tennis court she wants to play on; she left the game on her terms and can come back at her convenience. Could the tennis gods bring her to a US Open exhibition sometime soon for her American fans to see her?

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