Annabel Croft thinks it’s disappointing that tennis fans haven’t had a chance to see a rivalry between Ashleigh Barty and Iga Swiatek. Barty, a former three-time Grand Slam champion, announced a surprise retirement from tennis on March 25.
At the time of her retirement, Barty was the highest ranked player in the world and also won the Australian Open in January. That said, Barty was clearly still in the prime of hers when she retired from the game. Barty’s retirement came at the same time that Swiatek took her game to a whole new level and became the most dominant player in the game.
Croft feels that the women’s game would have greatly benefited from a rivalry between Barty and Swiatek, as she believes it would have been «a real cat-and-mouse rivalry». “That would have been a great rivalry. It would have been a true cat and mouse rivalry.
It could well have become one of the great rivalries and that is something that has been lacking in women’s tennis for quite some time. You would have very different abilities, but both very talented and headstrong characters would go up against each other.
I guess we’ll never know (who would emerge victorious), Croft told Tennis365.
Croft disappointed tennis because he did not have a rivalry between Barty and Swiatek
After winning the Australian Open, Barty did not play any events in February.
The expectation was that Barty would return to action in March and play in Indian Wells and Miami. After withdrawing from those events, Barty announced a surprising retirement from tennis just days before the start of Miami.
“It was just extraordinary, what a way to retire. She had won everything she wanted to win and for those of us who covered the sport, we were devastated and saddened. We all enjoy seeing the tennis brand of hers and the style of hers, that creative art,» Croft said of Barty’s retirement.
Meanwhile, Barty and Swiatek clashed as the Australian beat the Pole twice: in Madrid last year and in Adelaide earlier this year.