Ash Barty’s dad Rob has opened up on the reasons why his daughter walked away from the game in 2014.
The current world No.1 rose quickly through the ranks in 2013, only to quit the tour a year later to play women’s cricket.
Rob Barty told an Active SG Voyager tennis academy webinar on Sunday that his daughter was sad and not enjoying the touring or the game.
“Ash was sad all the time. She was not herself on the court,” Barty senior said.
“I said to my wife that we had just got to make sure that Ashleigh was happy.
Her happiness was more important.
“Were we disappointed? Of course we were, because we love watching tennis and we were hooked on tennis.
“To see Ash happy and see her around her sisters and having fun again was so much better than having her miserable and going out and playing tennis.”
The break from there intensity of a non-stop touring lifestyle worked; Barty returned last year with a runner-up finish to Petra Kvitova in Sydney and then a quarter final at the Australian Open.
She went on to win her first title in Miami and her first Grand Slam trophy at Roland Garros last May.
Barty became the first Australian player to win at Roland Garros since Margaret Court in 1973.
Wimbledon wasn’t so favourable, going out to Alison Riske in the fourth round, but China late last year cemented her return as she claimed the No.1 ranking with a win over Elina Svitolina in Shenzen.