Ashleigh Barty spent much of her life in competitive tennis and it's that competitive side that she misses the most when it comes to her former profession.
Barty is not an active tennis player anymore opting to retire at the height of her career when she finally won that elusive Australian Open. It was a shocking announcement to many but those closest to Barty saw it coming because she always underlined some other things as equally or even more important to her than tennis.
A player who often talked about being homesick while on the WTA Tour, Barty is happy back home in Australia expecting her first child later this year. It's been an interesting journey since then as she stayed busy but also missed what gave her an equal amount of joy and misery in the previous years as she revealed talking to The Guardian.
There were periods where I felt like I had no idea what I was doing and then there were other periods where I felt like there weren’t enough hours in the day. The book tour … was a big project that took a lot of time and took a lot of energy. We wanted to do it well, but emotionally and mentally, it probably sapped more out of me than I realised.
Barty published an autobiography that was well-received and it was 'closure' for Barty. It was a way to draw a line under her tennis career and look forward to what might come next in her life. Parenthood is the hot topic right now, something Barty is looking forward to.
But it was awesome. I think it was a really nice way to kind of have that line in the sand, to literally close the chapter and look to what’s next. Then a few months ago, our world and our future was tipped on its head [with the pregnancy]. It’s been challenging. But it’s also been unique and, probably, everything I could have asked for.
Tennis has been on her mind more than once because it's hard to leave something that was your life for such a long time. She doesn't miss all that comes with it but like many before she does miss that competitive nature of the sport which is what drew her into the sport in the first place. She remains an active member of the community though because she loves it.
Probably what I miss the most is the thrill of the fight with Tyzz, sitting down together and working out a way to completely unravel our opponent. That’s what I loved the most, the tactical side of the game and being able to make your opponent feel very uncomfortable and do that with my skills and my weapons. I do miss spending time with … all of my team. But our relationship hasn’t changed. The contact is just not as frequent and not as high octane, I will say. But the team footy tipping account is still alive and well, so the banter is still flying.