Following her surprise retirement earlier this year, Ash Barty insists she “completely accomplished every ounce” of her tennis ambitions.
The three-time grand slam champion was at the pinnacle of her powers when she announced her retirement from tennis in March, at the age of 26.
The former world number one and reigning Australian Open champion subsequently admitted to friend and former player Casey Dellacqua that she was “done” and no longer had the “physical drive” or “emotional desire.”
Barty became the first player to win the Newcombe Medal five times after her victory at Melbourne Park, making her the first home women’s singles champion since Chris O’Neil in 1978.
She maintained her record of having won the award, the highest individual honour in Australian tennis, every year since it was first presented in 2017.
“This has obviously been a very big year in my career and in my life,” said Barty, who beat Wimbledon runner-up Nick Kyrgios, US Open mixed doubles champion Storm Hunter, Ajla Tomljanovic and Alex De Minaur to the accolade.
“We’ve had exceptional change, we’ve had an amazing year of celebrating a journey of not only myself, but my team, and there is so much to be proud of.
“I stand here very proudly knowing that I absolutely fulfilled every ounce that I could to this beautiful sport that brought me so much more than I could have ever dreamt.”