Emma Raducanu insists her own tennis career plans won’t alter following the news of Ashleigh Barty’s surprise retirement at the age of 25.
The world No.1 announced her retirement on Wednesday, just two months after winning the Australian Open and securing her third Grand Slam title.
It’s left many surprised she’s quit the sport to ‘chase other dreams’ while at the top of her game but 19-year-old Raducanu insists she hopes to be playing into her thirties.
‘For me, I want to be in the game as long as possible,’ Raducanu said ahead of the Miami Open this week.
‘I’m only 19. I’ve just come on tour, which is pretty young.
‘I want to be in the game till I’m in my thirties. We’ll see what happens and how long I can last, to be honest.’
Raducanu made her breakthrough last year as she became the first ever qualifier to win a Grand Slam when she triumphed at the US Open as an 18-year-old.
The British No.1 is yet to find that kind of form again this season as she continues to negotiate her new life in the public eye on the WTA Tour.
Barty previously stepped away from tennis in 2014 as a teenager before coming back to the sport two years later to climb the world rankings and her comeback is something Raducanu takes inspiration from.
‘If you get oversaturated with one thing, it’s not healthy with anything you do,’ she said.
‘I feel like that just shows, if you take time off, you come back, you’re hungry, you’re ready. She basically cleaned up when she came back.
‘It just shows you don’t to be only tennis, tennis, tennis.’
As for Barty, she’s content with her decision to retire at 25 and is looking forward to her next chapter.
‘I am fulfilled,’ she said. ‘I am happy. I know how much work it takes to bring the best out of yourself.
‘I have said it to my team multiple times: I don’t have that in me any more.
‘I don’t have the physical drive, the emotional want and everything it takes to challenge yourself at the very top of the level anymore. I just know I am spent.’
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