Won junior Wimbledon as a 15-year-old in 2011
Made three Grand Slam doubles finals in 2013
Represented Australia in Fed Cup in 2013
Played professional cricket for Brisbane Heat
She won junior Wimbledon and seemed set for a career in the pro ranks but quit tennis because of the demands of the sport.
Now, after a stint in professional cricket back home in Australia, Ashleigh Barty is ready to give her first love another chance. And she is calling her reboot “Tennis 2.0.”
Barty won the Wimbledon girls title as a 15-year-old in 2011 and reached the doubles finals of the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open alongside Casey Dellacqua in 2013.
The same year she reached a career-high ranking of 129 in the world, represented her country in the Fed Cup and was seen as a future Australian No.1.
But in September 2014, she shocked tennis circles by announcing a break from the game.
“It was obviously phenomenal, but it all happened a little bit too quickly,” Barty, 19, told the WTA website. “I went from not being known anywhere in the world to winning junior Wimbledon and six months later playing the Australian Open. I was a victim of my own success, really.
“I love the sport of tennis, but I sort of got a little bit away from what I really wanted to do. It became robotic for me and that’s not what I wanted. It’s such an amazing sport and I just really wanted to enjoy it and I lost that enjoyment and that passion.
“I think deep down I knew if I kept trying to drive on through it, it would drive me away completely. So it was the right time to step away and just refresh.”
To replace tennis, she turned to cricket and earned a contract as an all-rounder with Brisbane Heat in the inaugural Women’s Big Bash League in Australia.
She hit 39 off 27 balls on her debut in December and was beginning to attract the attention of the Australian selectors, according to the Guardian.
But Barty says tennis “just makes sense to me” and hopes a more mature outlook will help her cope while clawing her way back up the ranks from the second-tier ITF Challenger Series.
“I was very young, but I turn 20 this year and it’s a different perspective on life and tennis in general,” she added.
“If it works, great. If it doesn’t, I can’t really complain. I’ve had a phenomenal career for the short time that I did play. I’m just prepared to work up that slow grind up the ITFs and hopefully be up with the WTA soon.”