Tennis fans might be saddened by Ash Barty's latest confession

Barty will not be joining Caroline Wozniacki any time soon.

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Ash Barty was the WTA No. 1 and seemed pretty secure to be at the top of women's tennis for the foreseeable future. The Australian won three Grand Slams (2019 French Open, 2021 Wimbledon, and 2022 Australian Open) but that was not enough. Ash Barty wanted more.

What she wanted had nothing to do with tennis. She wanted to run her foundation and be a mother and a wife. While she made good money playing her sport, tennis was more of a way of earning an income than a true life passion. Life was more important than tennis.

Ash Barty quit tennis once before she completely stopped playing on the WTA tour to give cricket a go. This might have given us an indication that Barty's heart was not set on being a long-term fixture on the tennis scene. She has that right as well.

She doesn't owe us anything but does owe herself integrity. While still holding the top WTA ranking and just two months after winning the 2022 Australian Open, Barty admitted she did not have the emotional drive to keep trying to be the best tennis player on the planet.

Ash Barty is not returning to tennis. Period.

Recently, we have seen the return to tennis of several women who have children. This is excellent, of course, for tennis fans. Not long ago when a female player left the sport to have children that player was very unlikely to return. However, Carolina Wozniacki, Elina Svitolina, Naomi Osaka, and Angelique Kerber are just four women who have returned to the sport in the last year.

According to a recent interview with the West Australian, though, Ash Barty has no intention of joining them in a return to tennis. While Barty admitted to missing some parts of playing, such as seeing her friends on tour, Barty is simply happier not playing professionally.

Barty said, "I'm enjoying what I'm doing now. There's nothing keeping me away. It's not like I'm doing things to keep myself away from the court. I want be able to be there to raise (her son) Hayden and I want to be able to enjoy that. That's what I want to do, plain and simple. That's where my priorities lie now.

"I absolutely love being mum. There's nothing else that I prefer to do."

Ash Barty cannot be more clear than that. While we as tennis fans would love to see her competing in high-level matches again, we as human being should be happy that she is happy. Ash Barty has already given us enough memories to last for decades.

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