World number one Ash Barty has revealed she got “twisted” and lost connection with her family in the first part of her career and quit tennis to be with the people who loved her.
Barty, the 2019 French Open champion, walked away from a promising tennis career, which included wining the junior Wimbledon title, in 2014.
She went on to play cricket, earning a contract with the Brisbane Heat in the WBBL.
Barty, now 24, returned in 2016 and has become one of the most dominant players in the world, rising to the number one ranking last year while also securing her maiden Grand Slam title.
In an interview with Kurt Fearnley for his One Plus One series on the ABC, Barty said she was uncomfortable with what the early success did to her.
She said she “disconnected” with her family, and broke away from the sport when she was confronted with a fork in the road.
“I think I just needed to find myself a little bit. I felt like I got twisted and maybe a little bit lost along the way in the first part of my career, just within myself mentally and what I wanted to do,” Barty said.
“I was very luck to have a lot of success but I’m still very much a homebody and I kind of lost my way a little bit with not being able to connect with my family. I even think kind of disconnected with my family in a way.
My favourite kind of day 🖤💛❤️ A really special trip to Cairns with so many smiling kids coming to say g’day 👋🏽 pic.twitter.com/Ys0xBX7Tyi
“We didn’t have the same conversation, we didn’t have the same depth of conversation. We didn’t lose that love or that care but for me I just kind of felt like there was a bit of a split and it was a bit of a fork.
“I wanted to come back to that. I wanted to come back to my family and come back to those that love me the most.”
Barty revealed last month she would skip the upcoming US Open as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to plague the US.
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