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Ipswich pays tribute to tennis trailblazer Ash Barty

Three-time Grand Slam champion and Ipswich local Ash Barty has retired from competitive tennis and council, on behalf of the community, would like to pay tribute to her wonderful career and wish her all the best in the future.

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said Barty will always be number one to Ipswich.

“Ash would like to spend more time at home here in Ipswich, and who could blame her,” Mayor Harding said.

“Her tennis achievements will be long remembered but what I think is really special about Ash is her down-to-earth personality.

“Ash is an amazing ambassador of this city and that won’t change.

“She has been on an incredible journey and the Ipswich community has been right there with her cheering her along.”

Council continues to field many suggestions about how the city can honour the homegrown champion here in Ipswich.

“Ash is a very humble person, and she has expressed her desire to keep things low-key and while no suggestions are off the table in the future, we are searching for something that Ash is comfortable with,” Mayor Harding said.

“Ash is another sporting great produced by Ipswich and has shown yet again why Ipswich’s reputation for producing some of the country’s best athletes continues to be well-earned.

“Ash is an inspiration to many, particularly a generation of young people and also Indigenous people as we lead up to the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“Congratulations Ash, we can’t wait to see what you take on next.”

Ash Barty grew up in Springfield, Ipswich, and began her professional career at the 2010 City of Ipswich Tennis International at the George Alder Tennis Centre in Leichhardt.

Retiring as World Number 1, 25-year-old Barty was the first Australian to win the Australian Open in 44 years earlier this year – last won by Chris O’Neil in 1978.

Barty also won the French Open in 2019 and Wimbledon in 2021.

In 2017, Ash was handed the keys to Ipswich in recognition of her outstanding contribution to tennis.

The then 21-year-old Barty accepted the significant honour in a ceremony attended by friends and family at George Alder Tennis Centre.

Barty said at the time, “It’s pretty special and cool as this is where I was born and bred and it’s particularly special to be here at George Alder as this is where I made my professional debut.”

At 23-year-old, she was presented with Australian tennis’ top honour by legend John Newcombe at the Australian Tennis Awards ceremony. It was the third consecutive year she won the medal.

The third Newcombe Medal put Barty level with Sam Stosur, the only other player to receive the accolade as many times.

Watch Ash Barty’s retirement announcement video on her Instagram page here.

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