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Ashleigh Barty plays exhibition doubles match at Wimbledon but happy to stay retired

Ashleigh Barty

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 10: Ashleigh Barty of Australia playing Invitational Doubles with partner Casey Dellacqua of Australia against Andrea Petkovic of Germany and Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia on Day Ten of The Championships Wimbledon 2024 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2024 in London, England (Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images)

Robert Prange/Getty Images

LONDON — Ashleigh Barty was searching for a thesaurus after her exhibition doubles match at Wimbledon.

A three-time Grand Slam singles champion, Barty retired just over two years ago at the age of 25. She plans to stay retired.

“You guys are killing me,” Barty told journalists. “Anyone have a thesaurus for a word that I can use for ‘no?’”

Barty played an invitation doubles match on Centre Court three years to the day after she beat Karolina Pliskova for the Wimbledon title.

The Australian’s return to the All England Club naturally sparked questions about whether she would come back.

Not interested, she said. A year ago, Barty gave birth to a baby boy. She’s also doing commentary for the BBC’s coverage of Wimbledon.

“I’ve got a beautiful commentary box on both Centre and Court 1,” she said. “You get a good view and are able to absorb what’s happening out on the court. Hopefully people at home are enjoying what I’m having to say. I don’t know whether I’m right, wrong or indifferent, but I’m enjoying it as well.”

The 28-year-old Barty said she doesn’t ponder what would have been had she stayed on tour to battle Iga Swiatek for the No. 1 ranking.

“I really enjoy watching others do well,” she said. “We have seen Iga dominate for the most part of the last two and a half years. She’s been incredible the way she has composure, has gone on incredible runs, winning matches and really dominating, which is hard to do. It’s been really impressive watching from afar.”

In the exhibition match, Barty and Casey Dellacqua beat the pairing of Andrea Petkovic and Magdalena Rybarikova.

“I love tennis. I love being here. I love being involved,” Barty said. “Now, I just get to pick and choose in small doses, which is really nice.”