Tyzzer, Barty’s coach since 2016, said the 25-year-old’s singles loss to unheralded Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo in round one of the Olympics was all the proof he needed that her career was coming to an end.
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“I sort of started (believing her career was coming to an end) after Wimbledon,” Tyzzer said during Barty’s farewell press conference on Thursday.
“I mean, that was an obvious goal for us and once she achieved it, it was … I think once we got to the Olympics, it sort of hit home for me, that there wasn’t much left in her.
“The motivation wasn’t there except when she played doubles with Storm (Sanders) and mixed doubles with John Piers (at the Olympics), her singles really went by the wayside.
“I sort of felt she’d climbed where she needed to get to, and it was going to be a hard slog to keep her involved.”
Tyzzer admitted he wasn’t shocked at all by Barty’s decision to retire as the world No. 1 on Wednesday, saying he actually saw the warning signs after her French Open title win in 2019, the Queenslander’s first grand slam victory.
“Ash probably still remembers, but after her first grand slam, the French, I’d actually prepared this speech about how profound this (title) was gonna be, and what it meant to her,” Tyzzer said.
“And the first thing she said to me was, ‘Can I retire now?’ I sort of went, ‘Hang on, I’m not ready for that.’
“Look, it’s not a shock to me (that she retired). Ash does her own thing and when we started together (as coach and player) she wanted to do it the way she wanted to do it.
“I think it’s the right time. I think she won the Aussie Open for everyone, not just for her. I think that was for everyone else, and – yeah. I don’t think there’s anything left in the tank for her.”
Barty’s emotional title victory at the Australian Open earlier in 2022, becoming the first Australian to win the tournament since Chris O’Neil in 1978, appears even more significant considering her motivation struggles.
Tyzzer said it was a difficult preparation for the Australian season in which Barty needed help finding a spark.
“It was really difficult to do the pre-season for the lead-up for the Aussie summer circuit, and she just put her head down and went super hard,” the coach said.
“And I feel, the hardest thing was trying to motivate her to get a spark to go, ‘Hey, you need to be out there’.
“Because her tennis and her mindset, she was so relaxed and so easygoing with it all.
“It was almost like she didn’t care whether she won or lost, but she obviously did.
“But, yeah, like I said, I think the Australian summer was for everyone else and not for her.”
Tyzzer’s comments come after Barty said winning Wimbledon was a dream come true but also the beginning of the end of her tennis career.
Speaking during her retirement announcement on Wednesday, the sporting superstar said her win in England in 2021 changed her as a person.
“It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. I’ve had a lot of incredible moments in my career that have been pivotal moments,” she said.
“Wimbledon changed a lot for me as a person and for me as an athlete. When you work so hard for your life for one goal. I’ve been able to share that with so many incredible people.
“But to be able to win Wimbledon, which was my dream, the one true dream I wanted in tennis, that really changed my perspective. I just had that gut feeling after Wimbledon and had spoken to my team quite a lot about it.
“There was just a little part of me that wasn’t quite satisfied. And then came the challenge of the Australian Open and I think that for me just feels like the most perfect way, my perfect way, to celebrate what an amazing journey my tennis career has been.”
For now, Barty says she just excited to live out some of her personal dreams, including getting married to her fiance Garry Kissick.
“I’m so excited for what’s to come next. I’m so grateful for everything that tennis has given me,” she said.
“I have given everything to this sport and it’s given me so much more in return and I’m so grateful to that and now I have the opportunity of new challenges which I’m really excited for.”
The former WBBL cricket star wasn’t ruling out a return to professional sport either, after a sporting switch was mooted by her close friend Rennae Stubbs.
“I have seen some brilliant photoshops, (me) as a jockey, lawn bowls, I’ve seen a little bit,” Barty laughed.
“Yeah, I love sport. I’m a sport nut, like a lot of Australians are.
“I’ll be lured to it (other sports) I have always been an athlete in the sense of trying different things but we’ll see how we go.”
Ash Barty’s career achievements
- World No.1 for 121 weeks (active streak: 114 weeks)
- Three-time grand slam singles champion (2019 French Open, 2021 Wimbledon, 2022 Australian Open)
- One-time grand slam doubles champion (2018 US Open with CoCo Vandeweghe), five-time runner-up
- 2019 WTA Finals champion
- Tokyo Olympics mixed doubles bronze medallist
- 2011 Wimbledon junior girls champion