World No.1 Iga Swiatek recalls that she couldn’t stop crying after hearing the news of her rival friend Ashleigh Barty’s retirement in 2022.
Former Australian tennis player Ashleigh Barty succeeded in junior tennis but moved to playing professional cricket later. She moved back to tennis and made her mark continuing her dominance on the court.
She soon retired from tennis at the age of 25 leaving everyone in shock. One such person is her rival Iga Swiatek who broke down into tears at the news.
Ashleigh Barty announced her retirement in March 2022 at the peak of her career. It was unexpected from the No.1 player and the reigning Wimbledon and Australian Open champion. She mentioned the reason behind her retirement was that she lost the drive to play at the top after winning the 2021 Wimbledon Open.
In a recent interview, Swiatek recalled the day of Barty’s retirement when she came to know about the news from her psychiatrist Daria. An anxious Swiatek also called her dad in the middle of the night but did not receive a proper response from him. She started crying as she was confused and couldn’t find a reason for Barty’s shocking retirement.
Iga Swiatek says she couldn’t stop crying when Ash Barty announced her retirement because she didn’t understand:— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) December 21, 2023
“I remember calling my dad when I found out that Ash was retiring.
It was March.. I was in the apartment, & I think I was watching Parks & Recreation or something… pic.twitter.com/cH86Ca0H3J
“But I was sobbing. I couldn’t stop crying. Honestly, it didn’t really have that much to do with potentially moving up in the ranking, it might sound strange, but I was so confused and shocked that Ash was 25, & she was retiring. “-Iga Swiatek on Ashleigh Barty
The current World No.1 Iga Swiatek had the chance to play against Barty only twice and the Australian got the better of her both times. Firstly at the Madrid Open and then the Adelaide International where she defeated her in straight sets.
Iga Swiatek regrets not having any chance to win against Ashleigh Barty
Iga Swiatek inherited the No.1 position after Australian tennis player Ashleigh Barty dethroned herself with retirement.
Iga Swiatek had the chance to play against Ashleigh Barty only twice before the latter announced her retirement in March 2022. Barty dominated in both times defeating her in straight sets.
Swiatek and Barty, who were both present at Melbourne Park in January 2023 hit some shots together. Swiatek expressed the respect she has for Barty during her interview there. She also mentioned her sadness of not having any further chance of competing against the Australian and defeating her.
“Well, for sure when she retired I felt like she still has the best tennis out there. So, I was pretty sad I’m not going to be able to compete against her and maybe win. “-Iga Swiatek in an interview