Ash Partey made her tennis debut since then Sudden retirement from the sport last March, to take pictures with Iga Swiatek at the United Cup in Brisbane. Barty stunned the tennis world last year when she walked away from the sport just two months after winning the Australian Open.
She has not been seen at a tennis match since then, preferring to spend most of her time at home with family and friends. But on Wednesday night she returned to the ring she has been to for so many years, making a rare appearance in the United Cup.
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The world’s #1 former posed to be photographed with Swiatek’s new No. 1 — the Polish star who took Barty’s mantle and made it her own. Swiatek had a breakout year in 2022 following Barty’s retirement, cementing her position as the top player in women’s tennis.
Barty had previously said she was impressed with Swiatek’s judgment as the world number one, and last year said “she’s a breath of fresh air and has completely and completely dominated this season.” “She was on a higher level, a head above the rest, and it was amazing to see her thrive.”
Speaking before the Nations Cup, Swiatek said Barty had been an inspiration to her. The pair have only played twice, with Partey winning both ties – in Madrid in 2021 and Adelaide in 2022.
“I really didn’t think it was possible for me,” Swiatek said of Barty’s retirement. “When she retired, I had mixed feelings because I felt she still had the best tennis out there. She really inspired me to work harder and her different playing style made me realize that there is always room for improvement.
“At first I felt like I wasn’t sure if this was where I was at. Ash, she seemed like a role model to everyone in terms of her behavior on the field but also off the field.
“So I felt like it really set the bar really high. So, (I needed to) show that to people but also show myself that I’m in the right place.”
A post on the United Cup Twitter account of Barty and Swiatek meeting had nearly 200,000 views at the time of publication and nearly 4,000 likes. Some fans have expressed their sadness that they will never be able to see Barty and Swiatk play again.
Ash Barty returns to the Australian Open in a mentor role
She revealed that Barty will not be playing at Melbourne Park this year Barty will be at her camp as a guide. Barty has been mentoring a fellow Queenslander for several years and will continue to be a part of the Australian Open.
“I was really lucky because I was always able to call her if I had any questions or if I needed advice, she was always there for me,” Jadecki told the AAP at the United Cup in Sydney. “The best part is that she treats me like a normal person and we can relate to that and off court is just as important as on court.”
Speaking of her life in retirement last week, Barty said she was surprised at how comfortable she was She felt distant from tennis. “Honestly, I think what surprised me the most was how comfortable it was,” she said.
“I think maybe there was a natural fear or uncertainty in not knowing what my life would look like after tennis after being so focused. I wasn’t sure how to deal with that because I’m a person who likes to be organized. There was maybe a little bit of fear in that, but overall , this was not a problem, a concern or a concern.
“Surprisingly, in a good way, I slid so smoothly into this life that’s just like everyone else’s. Which is kind of what I’ve always wanted.”
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