At 15, she was the best junior player in the world.
Two years later, she was a three-time doubles slam finalist.
Then she quit tennis.
Now, five years later, and after a stint playing Big Bash T20 cricket with the Brisbane Heat, Ash Barty is the French Open Champion and the second best female tennis player on the planet.
This is what she had to say in her press conference interview after the final:
“I needed time to step away, to live a normal life… time to grow as a person. I think a new belief and a new perspective in my life and in my career, it’s brought this new belief, I suppose, and this feeling of belonging at the very top level.”
Wow! What a fascinating story.
One of hope.
Yet one that leaves me with so many questions…
What lay beneath her success in the first place?
Where did the pressure to quit really come from?
Why can’t you grow as a person playing the game that you love?
What does she believe now that she didn’t before, and where did she find it?
And why did she choose to pick up a racket again?
If you know Ashleigh, or someone who can put me in touch, please be so kind and let me know.
Perhaps I could invite her on The Athlete Development Show and ask her.