Brisbane | Barty is pregnant

Just one year short of winning the Australian Open, Ash Barty has announced that she and husband, Garry Kissick, are expecting a child.

To be honest, I think what has surprised me most is how comfortable I’ve been... What’s been surprising, in a good way, is that I’ve slipped quite seamlessly into this life that’s just like everyone else. Which is kind of always what I wanted. Ash Barty

The former World No 1 posted the happy news of her pregnancy on Instagram together with a photo of baby shoes alongside one of her dogs.

“2023 set to be the best year yet,” Barty wrote. “We are so excited for our new adventure. Origi already the protective big sister.”

The 26-year-old Queenslander announced her retirement in March of last year, two months after winning her third Slam title at the Australian Open.

The title, which ended a 44-year drought for a home-grown singles champion in Melbourne, added to Barty’s previous two major wins at 2019 Roland Garros and 2021 Wimbledon.

World No. 1s only


Earlier this week, Barty swung by the United Cup in Brisbane to say hello to Iga Swiatek, who picked up the No 1 mantle after the Aussie’s retirement, in what was her first appearance at the tennis since her retirement last year, making a rare appearance at the United Cup.

The pair only got to play each other twice, with Barty winning both encounters, in Madrid in 2021 and Adelaide in 2022, but Swiatek says Barty was an inspiration to her.

“I didn’t really think it’s possible for me,” Swiatek said about Barty’s retirement. “When she retired, I felt mixed emotions because I felt like she still has the best tennis out there.

“She really inspired me to work harder and her different game style made me realise that there is always room for improvement.

“At first I felt, like, I wasn’t sure if this is kind of my place to be. Ash, she seemed like a huge role model for everybody in terms of her behaviour on court but also off court.

“So I felt like she really set the bar pretty high. So, I [needed] to show it to people but also show it to myself that I’m in the right place.”

A post by the United Cup’s Twitter account of Barty and Swiatek’s meeting drew nearly 200,000 views at time of publication and nearly 4,000 likes, and some fans expressed their sadness that they would never get to see Barty and Swiatek play again.

Olivia Gadecki, who played for Australia in United Cup, is being mentored by Ash Barty in Melbourne

© Andy Cheung/Getty Images

Although Barty will not be defending her title at Melbourne Park this year, she will be present as a mentor to rising Aussie Olivia Gadecki.

“I’ve been really fortunate to always be able to contact her if I have any questions or if I need advice, she’s always been there for me,” Gadecki told AAP at the United Cup in Sydney. “The best part is she just treats me like a normal person and we can relate in that regard and off court is just as important as on court.”

Speaking about her life in retirement last week, Barty said she was surprised at how comfortable she felt away from tennis.

“To be honest, I think what has surprised me most is how comfortable I’ve been,” she said. “I think there was probably a normal fear or uncertainty in not knowing what my life would look like after tennis after being so focused.

“I was a bit unsure how I would deal with that, because I am a person who likes to be organised. There was probably a little bit of fear in that, but overall, that hasn’t been an issue, a concern or a worry.

“What’s been surprising in a good way is that I’ve slipped quite seamlessly into this life that’s just like everyone else. Which is kind of always what I wanted.”

Life for Barty will be taking another new turn now, with the arrival of a new member of her family.



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