John McEnroe lamented how Ash Partey has retired Women’s tennis was robbed of a major rivalry with Iga Swiatek, similar to that when Bjorn Borg walked away from the sport at the same age. Barty announced her retirement In March last year, just two months after he became the first Australian in 44 years to win the Australian Open.
Barty was ranked No. 1 in the world at the time and seemed to dominate the sport for years to come, but she walked away in her prime. Since then, Polish star Swiatek has captured the world number one ranking and cemented her position as the next dominant force in women’s tennis.
Warning: Nadal’s message to his archrival Djokovic and the Australian Open
Huge twist: Top players join Djokovic in the PTPA breakaway movement
Fans won’t get to see the years-long rivalry many had hoped for with Barty and Swattek. The pair have only played each other twice, with the Aussie coming out on top on both occasions. But both matches came before Swiatek really hit her stride, which saw her win 37 matches in a row in 2022.
“I think when Ash Barty retired, it obviously caused a shock because here’s a young woman of 25 who’s won Wimbledon, and then she’s won the Australian Open and she thinks ‘Well, she’s going to the US Open next year and she’s just A matter of time’,” McEnroe said Eurosport.
“Obviously, I hope she’s happy, you never want to see someone walk away from that guy because then you’re like ‘what’s wrong with the women’s game that player #1 walked away from the game at 25’? We had this problem too because my friend And Bjorn Borg’s rivals have moved away and haven’t played a major role after 25 years. It’s going to hurt me, and hurt my career, I guess.”
McEnroe said the missed opportunity to pit Barty against Swiatek for years to come would hurt the women’s game — and Swiatek’s career. “Not having that competitor,” he said, “I think it hurts the sport.”
“And there are reasons why we can’t get in, there are a lot of reasons, not a single reason, and there is also no one for Ash Party, but hopefully everyone will look at things to make sure that these women on the tour are looked after to the best of their ability so that they are as comfortable as possible.” in doing their job.”
Why John McEnroe Won’t Be At The Australian Open
Seven-time Grand Slam champion McEnroe believes Switek is the player to beat at the Australian Open and will add several majors to his tally. However, he said the 21-year-old may need to cut back on her schedule.
“I think she’s now the best player ever, she’s a great athlete, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a young woman slide into corners, it reminds me of Novak a bit,” he added. .
“So I’d be surprised if she didn’t win at least two French Opens, and she learned to play hard court, so there’s no doubt that she’s a favorite in every tournament she plays. She has to be careful with her schedule, I don’t think she’ll go on to win her 37 matches. just as much because it is now evident that people will seek it more, but I would be very surprised if it did not win another set of majors.”
while, McEnroe will not be on commentary at the Australian Open This year after ESPN decided not to bring him. The 63-year-old has been a mainstay in the commentary box at Melbourne Park for years, but in 2023 he will be missing.
click here To sign up for our newsletter to get the latest breaking news from Australia and around the world.