The Anti-Tom Brady: World No. 1 Tennis Player Ashleigh Barty Retiring at 25

The three-time Grand Slam champion announced she's hanging up her sneakers in an Instagram post

Ashleigh Barty of Australia celebrates match point in her Women’s Singles Final match at the 2022 Australian Open
Ashleigh Barty of Australia celebrates match point in her Women’s Singles Final match at the 2022 Australian Open.
Andy Cheung/Getty

A mere 41 days after announcing he was walking away from playing pro football, 44-year-old Tom Brady made another decision that shocked no one and announced he was returning to the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Brady, who put up MVP-caliber numbers last season and has won seven Super Bowls while playing in 10, could have walked away at the top of his game to focus on his other interests, which include putting his brand name on all the things and making road-trip comedies for aging Baby Boomers.

Thing is, Brady doesn’t actually seem to be all that interested in those interests and is competitive to a fault, which is why he can’t quit football and will be playing his 23rd NFL season at the age of 45.

That’s not the case with Ashleigh Barty, the world’s No. 1-ranked women’s tennis player, who announced her retirement from the sport at the age of 25 in an Instagram video posted earlier today.

Barty, who is just months removed from winning her third Grand Slam championship in her home country of Australia, has earned $23.8 million in prize money and won 15 career singles titles during her professional career. Speaking with her former doubles partner Casey Dellacqua in the video, Barty said she plans to “chase other dreams.”

“I’m so grateful to everything that tennis has given me — it’s given me all of my dreams, plus more — but I know that the time is right now for me to step away and chase other dreams and to put the rackets down,” Barty said. “I know how much work it takes to bring the best out of yourself. It’s just I don’t have that in me anymore. I don’t have the physical drive, the emotional want and kind of everything it takes to challenge yourself at the very top level anymore and I think I just know that I’m absolutely, I am spent.”

In 2008, female tennis star Justine Henin also retired at the top of her game at the age of 25. At the time of her retirement, the Belgian star was on top of the women’s singles rankings and was the reigning champion at the French Open and the U.S. Open. Henin later unretired and returned to the tour in 2010, but never won another major title.

It’s possible Barty will pull a Brady and do the same, but it seems more likely she actually is a well-adjusted person with other interests that she’s actually interested in pursuing… like cricket.

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