No. 1 tennis player Ash Barty's retirement at age 25 was shocking but not surprising | Opinion

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Ashleigh Barty’s announcement Tuesday night that she was retiring at age 25, just weeks after winning the Australian Open, broke through as a mainstream sports story in a way that her tennis career never really did. 

With the variety in her game, the cleanliness of her forehand strike and the skidding mendacity of her backhand slice, Barty was a tennis player’s tennis player who had clearly established herself over the last year as the best in the world. But outside of Australia, she was not a classic superstar or box office draw — largely because she didn’t want to be. 

Barty’s sudden retirement had a lot of people who don’t follow the sport closely questioning why somebody in the absolute prime of their career, who could have certainly added several more Grand Slam titles to the three she already won, would step away now.

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