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Iga Swiatek considered retiring early after Ashleigh Barty’s exit

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iga swiatek
Iga Switek with Ash Barty. Photo/NDTV Sports
  • Barty’s news of retiring at 25 struck her hard that she took time and nearly decided to exit tennis
  • Barty decided to quit tennis in March 2022 following her victorious Australian Open campaign
  • Her departure created an opening for Swiatek to ascend to the world No. 1

The retirement of former Australian tennis player Ashleigh Barty made Iga Swiatek think about retiring early.

She says that Barty’s news of retiring at 25 struck her hard that she took time and nearly decided to exit tennis as early as Barty.

Barty decided to quit tennis in March 2022 following her victorious Australian Open campaign. It took many by surprise since she was only 25 years old.

Her departure created an opening for Swiatek to ascend to the No. 1 spot in the WTA rankings.

The Polish player proceeded to exert her dominance over women’s tennis throughout the rest of the 2022 season. She achieved notable victories at the French Open and the US Open.

Notably, Swiatek also embarked on an impressive 37-match winning streak from February to July.

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Iga Swiatek greets Ash Barty. Photo/Eurosport

Iga Siwatek On Ashleigh Barty Retiring

During an interview with Poland’s SportoweFakty, Swiatek expressed admiration for Barty and revealed that she was taken aback by the abrupt retirement of the three-time Grand Slam champion.

Barty’s decision had a significant impact on Swiatek’s career, as it created unexpected opportunities and shifts within the competitive landscape of women’s tennis.

“I didn’t fully understand what had happened. Ash was the undisputed leader, she played the best tennis – even though I knew where she would hit, it was still difficult to cope with her shot,” Swiatek admits.

She added that she considers Barty’s exit from tennis a big loss to the sport. It denied her a chance to play with her and learn more.

“At first, her departure was an abstraction to me. I felt it was a great loss for the sport. I have great respect for her. Besides, I had an idea of what the end of her career would mean for me. I had been No 2 for just a few days, and suddenly there was an opportunity to move to the top of the rankings.

“It hit me hard because I never thought such a scenario would be possible. Today we live from day to day, we do not think about the future every moment. The thought comes to mind: ‘God, I could soon be the best in the world in my discipline’.”

Repeatedly demonstrating her worthiness as the world No. 1, Swiatek has successfully concluded consecutive years holding this prestigious rank.

Additionally, at the young age of 22, she has already secured a remarkable four Grand Slam titles. Given Barty’s decision to retire in her 20s, one may wonder if Swiatek is contemplating a similar path for her future in tennis.

When Will Iga Swiatek Retire?

On this one, she says that no one is ever sure of what happens in professional sports. The four-time Grand Slam champion remarks that Barty had already achieved so much and it was right to make the retirement call.

Iga Swiatek serves

Polish tennis star Iga Swiatek. Photo/USOpen.org

“No one knows what the future will bring. We can’t control everything. Ash had achieved so much that she had every right to take such a step. I don’t know if I would have the courage to make a similar decision. I would probably keep playing and keep trying.

Swiatek also noted that each tennis season comes with its challenges and added responsibilities, which put players on the edge.

This is the time most of them consider retiring and moving on with life.  Again, she is not of the school of thought that one should play until they are 35 years old.

“Nobody said that we have to play until the age of 35, when we will barely be able to walk because of the wear and tear on our bodies. The other thing is that I don’t want to let it wear out like that. That’s why sometimes I have to make difficult decisions, judged by others,” she stated.

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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