WIMBLETON 2021

NEWS ZUM BESTEN TENNIS-TURNIER DER WELT

Margaret Court Arena should be renamed for Ash Barty, tennis fans insist

Some tennis fans have pushed for an Australian Open showcourt to be named after Ash Barty following her shock retirement, and take that honour away from Margaret Court.

A campaign to rename Margaret Court Arena is longstanding among those who disagree with the former great’s outspoken views on LGBTQI matters.

Now some prominent journalists and sportspeople have said the retirement of Barty presented the best opportunity to rename the court.

They argued ‚modern times‘ called for ‚modern views of the world‘ unlike Court’s views on sexuality.

Ash Barty (pictured winning Wimbleton Championships – Women’s singles in 2021) shocked the tennis world by announcing her retirement aged 25

Tennis fans including AFLW coach Rebecca Goddard are pushing to rename the Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena to the Ash Barty Arena

Former AFLW coach and Order of Australia Medal recipient Rebecca Goddard supported the change with the hashtag ‚#itstime.‘

Goddard was joined by many other Australian fans who flocked online to voice their support for Margret Court Arena being renamed for Barty. 

‚Finally time to rename Margaret Court’s Court Ash Barty Arena,‘ she wrote.

Today show host, Karl Stefanovic joked alongside former tennis star Pat Rafter about the possible name change on Thursday.

‚Why don’t we rename all the arenas the Ash Barty arena,‘ he said.

Fans argued ‚modern times‘ called for ‚modern views of the world‘ as Margaret Court (pictured) is controversial for her outspoken anti-LGBTIQ+ views.

A section of tennis fans have long called for Margaret Court Arena (pictured) to be renamed over her repeated denigration of LGBTIQ+ Australians

A few social media users suggested the court also be renamed for Australian seven-time Grand Slam winner Evonne Goolagong.

Court won a record 24 grand slam singles titles – compared to Barty’s two and Goolangong’s seven – and an extraordinary 40 other grand slam titles in doubles and mixed doubles.

However her opponents argue that when it comes to naming honours, career achievement in tennis should be secondary, and more importance should be placed on sharing mandated views on social issues.

Court has among many statements condemned transgender athletes and said LGBTIQ+ school lessons were ‚of the devil‘.

Barty, who is ranked the world’s number one female tennis player, was the first Australian woman to win the Australian Open final in more than four decades.  

Fans were in awe of the 25-year-old after she won the Grand Slam title in January and were shocked when she announced her retirement.

Barty pulled the plug on her stunning career ‚to chase other dreams‘ just weeks after winning the Australian Open, six months after claiming the Wimbleton title last year.

She grabbed the world No.1 spot on June 24, 2019, and never relinquished it with high finishes in Grand Slams for the next two-and-a-half years. 

The three-time Grand Slam winner announced her shock retirement on Wednesday in a video with former doubles partner and good friend Casey Dellacqua.

Barty from Ipswich in Queensland, fought back tears as she made the bombshell announcement, saying she was physically and emotionally ’spent‘.

‚It’s the first time I’ve said it out loud, so it’s hard to say but I’m so happy and I’m so ready,‘ she explained in the video. 

Ash Barty (pictured with fiance Garry Kissick) now plans to chase other dreams

‚I know I’ve done this before but in a very different feeling and I’m so grateful of what tennis has given me, all of my dreams plus more but I know the time is right now for me to step away and to put the rackets down.‘

Barty earned US$23.8 million (AU$37.75 million) in prize money and millions more in sponsorships, making her the 14th best-paid female player in history.

She made US$3 million from endorsements last year and was the eighth-highest paid female athlete in 2021, pocketing US$6.9 million, according to Forbes

Her total career earnings are estimated to be around the US$53 million-mark (AU$70 million).

Barty said she was considering retirement for a while and had a ‚gut feeling‘ achieving her childhood dream of winning Wimbleton last year.

‚It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time and I’ve had a lot of incredible moments in my career that have been pivotal moments,‘ she said.

‚I’ve had a lot of incredible moments in my career that have been pivotal moments. And Wimbleton last year changed a lot for me as a person and for me as an athlete when you work so hard, your whole life for one goal, and I’ve been able to share that with so many incredible people.

‚But to be able to win Wimbleton, which was my dream — the one, true dream I wanted in tennis — that really changed my perspective. I just had that gut feeling after Wimbleton and had spoken to my team quite a lot about it.

‚There was just a little part of me that wasn’t quite satisfied, wasn’t quite fulfilled. And then came the challenge of the Australian Open.

‚That for me just feels like the perfect way — my perfect way — to celebrate what an amazing journey my tennis career has been.

‚As a person, this is what I want. I want to chase after some other dreams that I’ve always wanted to do, and always had that really healthy balance, but I’m really, really excited.‘

The women’s world No 1 was visibly emotional as she made the shock announcement

Barty also revealed she’s ‚physically spent‘ after three consecutive years as the women’s world No.1 following her comeback to the sport in late 2016 after an 18-month break prompted by her struggles with mental health. 

‚There was a perspective shift in me in the second phase of my career that my happiness wasn’t dependent on the results,‘ Barty said.

‚Success for me is knowing that I’ve given absolutely everything, everything I can.

‚I’m fulfilled, I’m happy, and I know how much work it takes to bring the best out of yourself.

‚I just don’t have that in me anymore. I don’t have the physical drive, the emotional want and everything it takes to challenge yourself at the very top level anymore.

‚I am spent. I just know physically I have nothing more to give and that, for me, is success.

‚I’ve given absolutely everything I can to this beautiful sport of tennis and I’m really happy with that.

‚I know that people may not understand it. And that’s OK, I’m OK with that because I know that for me, Ash Barty, the person has so many dreams that she wants to chase after that don’t necessarily involve travelling the world, being away from my family being away from my home, which is where I’ve always wanted to be.

‚Now I think it’s important that I get to enjoy the next phase of my life as Ash Barty the person and not Ash Barty the athlete.‘

Ash Barty hasn’t played in a tournament since her Australian Open title win in January 

Ash Barty’s childhood hero Evonne Goolagong Cawley presented her with the Australian Open trophy in what would be Barty’s last match

WORLD OF TENNIS PAYS TRIBUTE TO BARTY

British tennis star Andy Murray said he was happy for Barty, but ‚gutted for tennis‘. 

Former world No 1 Karolina Pliskova added it was privilege to enjoy some epic battles against Barty.

‚An incredible tennis player but more importantly one of the nicest people on tour,‘ she said.

Romanian tennis player Simona Halep, also a former world no. 1, wished Barty well in the next phase of her life.

‚Ash, what can I say, you know I have tears right? My friend, I will miss you on tour. You were different, and special, and we shared some amazing moments. What’s next for you? Grand Slam champion in golf?! Be happy and enjoy your life to the max,‘ she wrote. 

A visibly emotional Barty said she will never stop loving tennis, which will remain a massive part of her life.

She admitted it had been a difficult decision to make. 

‚But now I think it’s important that I get to enjoy the next phase of my life as Ash Barty the person and not Ash Barty the athlete,‘ she said. 

‚It was a hard decision but the right one and it brought me lots of comfort knowing this is right for me.‘ 

She wiped back tears as her good friend Dellacqua described the bombshell announcement as brave and incredible.

‚One thing I know about you is that you make decisions that are right for you and have done it your way,‘  Dellacqua told her.

‚I’m just so proud of you and am excited about what’s ahead of it.‘

Barty recently moved back to her hometown of Ipswich with her fiancé, golfer Garry Kissick, whom she plans to marry later in 2022. 

‚I have lived in the Springfield area my entire life and mum and dad have lived there for their entire lives. My sisters are not far away. We are excited that we are in our new place. It’s beautiful,‘ Barty recently told the Courier Mail.

‚It is what we wanted and for us it is about making new memories now. The pups love our new place which for me it’s most important they run around and have a good time.‘

Barty said she planned to share more details on why she was retiring at just 25 at a press conference on Thursday. 

‚Today is difficult and filled with emotion for me as I announce my retirement from tennis,‘ she captioned the video. 

‚I wasn’t sure how to share this news with you so I asked my good friend Casey Dellacqua to help me.

Ash Barty described her decision to quit tennis as hard but the right one to make

‚I am so thankful for everything this sport has given me and leave feeling proud and fulfilled.

‚Thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way, I’ll always be grateful for the lifelong memories that we created together.‘  

Barty, who turned pro at just 13, also claimed the French Open in 2019 and 12 other titles – despite taking a lengthy break from the sport to play cricket in 2014-16.  

Shortly after her maiden Grand Slam at Roland-Garros, Barty opened up on her career-threatening mental health battle which saw her temporarily quit tennis.

She said she had been struggling to cope with the pressure of being touted the sport’s next big thing after winning the Wimbleton junior crown at just 15.

Depressed and homesick, Barty packed it in after a first-round US Open defeat.

‚We went through ebbs and flows in that year in 2014,‘ Barty recalled in 2019.

‚I’m not going to go into details of how I felt and what I had to go through, but there was a point when I think I knew I had to stop and, when I made the decision, it was easy.

‚Everyone is different, everyone is unique. I can’t sit here and tell people how they should figure out their way through their life. It’s their decision.

‚For me, it was just being aware of my mental health. Having a discussion with people was the best thing that came out of it.‘

She added she wouldn’t be where she is right now had she not taken time out to play cricket.

Ash Barty (pictured with fiance Garry) is now planning life after tennis, which will include walking down the aisle

BARTY’S FULL ANNOUNCEMENT 

I will be retiring from tennis.

‚It’s the first time I’ve actually said that out loud and yeah, it’s hard to say.

‚But I’m so happy and I’m so ready and I just know at the moment in my heart for me as a person, this is right.

‚I know I’ve done this before, but in a very different feeling.

‚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.

CASEY DELLACQUA: Why now?

ASH BARTY:  ‚It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time.

‚I’ve had a lot of incredible moments in my career that have been pivotal moments. And Wimbleton last year changed a lot for me as a person and for me as an athlete when you work so hard, your whole life for one goal, and I’ve been able to share that with so many incredible people.

‚But to be able to win Wimbleton, which was my dream, – the one true dream that I wanted in tennis – that really changed my perspective.

‚I just had I just had that gut feeling after Wimbleton and had spoken to my team quite a lot about it.

There was just a little part of me that wasn’t quite satisfied, wasn’t quite fulfilled.

‚And then came the challenge of the Australian Open and that for me just feels like the most perfect way, my perfect way, to celebrate what an amazing journey my tennis career has been.

‚As a person, this is what I want. I want to chase after some other dreams that I’ve always wanted to do.

‚I’ve always had that really healthy balance, but I’m really, really excited.

DELLACQUA: Hard for a lot of people to understand. You’re probably one of the most marketable athletes in the world. How difficult was it to come to this decision?

BARTY: ‚There was a perspective shift in me in the second phase of my career that my happiness wasn’t dependent on the results.

‚Success for me is knowing that I’ve given absolutely everything, everything I can.

‚I’m fulfilled, I’m happy, and I know how much work it takes to bring the best out of yourself.

‚I just don’t have that in me anymore. I don’t have the physical drive, the emotional want and everything it takes to challenge yourself at the very top level anymore.

‚I am spent. I just know physically I have nothing more to give and that, for me, is success.

‚I’ve given absolutely everything I can to this beautiful sport of tennis and I’m really happy with that.

‚I know that people may not understand it. And that’s okay, I’m okay with that because I know that for me, Ash Barty, the person has so many dreams that she wants to chase after that don’t necessarily involve traveling the world, being away from my family being away from my home, which is where I’ve always wanted to be.

‚I’ll never ever ever stop loving tennis. It’ll always be a massive part of my life.

‚But now I think it’s important that I get to enjoy the next phase of my life as Ash Barty the person and not Ash Barty the athlete.

‚It was hard but it’s right and I know that brought me lots of comfort knowing that this is right for me.‘ 

But the sport took its toll and she withdrew from Indian Wells and the Miami Open after winning in Melbourne in January, citing ‚a need for ongoing recovery after winning the Australian Open‘.

Barty and her incredible career were praised by Women’s Tennis Association chief executive Steve Simon minutes after her announcement.

‚Ash Barty with her signature backhand slice complemented by being the ultimate competitor, has always led by example through unwavering professionalism and sportsmanship she brought to every match,‘ he said.

‚She has clearly established herself as one of the great champions of the WTA.

A young Ash Barty clings onto a junior tennis trophy she won at a tournament back in 2002

Prime Minister Scott Morrison also paid tribute to Barty.

‚I want to say thank you to Ash for inspiring a generation of young people but particularly a generation of young indigenous people in this country,‘ he told reporters.

‚You are all class. Thank you to ash for inspiring a country, inspiring a nation, at a time when this country really needed a good shot in the arm.

‚None of us will ever forget that incredible comeback down there at the Australian open this year.‘

Current and former greats of the game have also paid tribute.

‚Happy for @ashbarty, gutted for tennis, what a player,‘ Andy Murray tweeted.

Ash Barty had ‚a gut feeling‘ she’d soon give up tennis after winning Wimbleton last year

Ash Barty: A short but glittering tennis career 

April 2010 – Ash Barty turns professional at just 14-years-old, playing in an ITF Women’s Circuit tournament in her hometown of Ipswich

June 2011 – Wins the girls‘ singles title at Wimbleton – her first junior grand slam 

January 2012 – Debuts in her first professional grand slam at just 16 as a wildcard at the Australian Open

January 2013 – Handed another wildcard at the Australian Open 

February 2013 – First WTA Tour win at the Malaysian Open

May 2013 – Wins first grand slam match at French Open 

June 2013 – Wins first WTA title in the doubles with Casey Dellacqua at the Birmingham Open 

September 2014 – Takes hiatus from professional tennis because she wanted to be a ’normal teenage girl and have some normal experiences‘

July 2015 – Signs with the Brisbane Heat to play in the inaugural Women’s Big Bash League

February 2016 – Announces her return to tennis following the competition of the WBBL season

February 2017 – Wins first WTA title at the Malaysian Open

January 2018 – Earns first grand slam seeding of her career as no.18 at the Australian Open

September 2018 – Wins first grand slam title in the doubles at the US Open alongside Coco Vandeweghe

June 2019 – Wins first grand slam singles title at the French Open – the first Australian to win at Roland Garros since Margaret Court in 1973

June 2019 – Becomes the first Australian woman to be world no.1 since Evonne Goolagong 

August 2020 – Takes 11-month hiatus from tennis due to Covid pandemic

July 2021 – Wins first Wimbleton title, the first Australian woman since Goolagong in 1980

July 2021 – Wins bronze medal at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in mixed doubles alongside John Peers

August 2021 – pulls out of the remainder of the season to focus on Aus Open 

January 2022 – Wins maiden Australian Open title, becoming the eighth woman to win on three different surfaces

March 2022 – Retires from tennis  

‚Legend. Absolute legend‘: A host of Australian stars reel from shock as Ash Barty announces her retirement from tennis aged just 25

Australia and the world has widely applauded the glittering career of tennis superstar Ash Barty, who on Wednesday announced her sudden retirement.

The 25-year-old posted on Instagram her enthusiasm for the sport has waned, and that she feels ‚proud and fulfilled‘ after winning three career Grand Slam titles – including the Australian Open in January and Wimbleton last year.

Predictably, tributes for Barty on social media came thick and fast. 

American tennis star Madison Keys was one of many to pay tribute to Barty online after she announced her shock retirement on Wednesday

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese tweeted that Barty was a ‚magician on court‘

Leading the plaudits was Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who said the humble athlete was an ‚inspiration for all Australians.‘

‚I want to say thank you to Ash for inspiring a generation of young people but particularly a generation of young indigenous people in this country,‘ he said.

‚You are all class. Thank you to ash for inspiring a country, inspiring a nation, at a time when this country really needed a good shot in the arm.

‚None of us will ever forget that incredible comeback down there at the Australian Open this year.‘

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese tweeted that Barty was ‚a magician on court.‘

Women’s Tennis Association chief executive Steve Simon said the sport will miss Barty’s ‚unwavering professionalism and sportsmanship.‘

Model Elise Knowles said she had ‚total respect‘ for Barty’s decision which has stunned many

The Women’s Tennis Association said Barty was an ‚incredible ambassador for the sport and for women around the world‘

‚We wish Ash only the very best and know that she will continue to be a tremendous ambassador for the sport of tennis as she embarks on this new chapter of her life,‘ he wrote in a statement. 

Fellow Australian star Thanasi Kokkinakis, tweeted ‚Respect it‘ in response to Barty’s bombshell decision. 

British tennis star Andy Murray said he was happy for Barty, but ‚gutted for tennis‘.

Former world No 1 Karolina Pliskova added it was privilege to enjoy some epic battles against Barty.

‚An incredible tennis player but more importantly one of the nicest people on tour,‘ she said.

Romanian tennis player Simona Halep, also a former world no. 1, wished Barty well in the next phase of her life. 

‚Ash, what can I say, you know I have tears right? My friend, I will miss you on tour. You were different, and special, and we shared some amazing moments. What’s next for you? Grand Slam champion in golf?! Be happy and enjoy your life to the max,‘ she wrote.

The tributes weren’t just limited to politicians and athletes. TV presenter Carrie Bickmore replied to Barty’s Instagram post: ‚Legend. Absolute legend‘, while model Elyse Knowles stated she had ‚total respect‘ for the move.