Ash Barty delivers another winner, with birth of baby boy Hayden

Ash Barty and husband Garry Kissick have welcomed their first child, Hayden.

Ash Barty and husband Garry Kissick have welcomed their first child, Hayden. Photo: TND/Instagram

Retired Australian tennis ace Ash Barty has announced the birth of her first child – and already there’s speculation of a “supermum” comeback.

Barty and her husband, golf professional Garry Kissick, revealed in an Instagram post late on Tuesday they were the proud parents of a “beautiful boy”.

“Welcome to the world, Hayden!,” it read, accompanied by a picture of the new arrival wrapped in a blanket.

Craig Tiley, CEO of Tennis Australia, led the wave of congratulations from within the sport for popular Barty, calling it “wonderful news”.

The news overjoyed her old colleagues at Wimbledon, where the three-time grand slam champion was feted just two years ago for achieving her tennis dream of winning the singles title.

At least one of her old rivals, Ons Jabeur, wants to see Barty return one day as a tennis “supermum”.

Tunisian pioneer Jabeur, last year’s finalist, was delighted for the player she so admired, having said recently that she felt Barty would have won 20 grand slams if she had continued her career.

Now she wants to see her make a comeback like the one that former world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki, who gave birth to her second child in October, announced last week.

“Fantastic news. I’m very happy for her that she had a baby boy. I’m very happy for her because this is something that I want to have, a family,” said the world No.6 Jabeur after her first round victory over Poland’s Magdalena Frech.

“I’m sure she’s enjoying being a mom right now rather than being on a tennis court waiting to play at Wimbledon,” she added with a smile.

“I hope that she will change her mind like Wozniacki and comes back maybe in one or two years.”

Last year, Barty caused a sensation by announcing her retirement from the sport in March. It was less than two months since she’d won the Australian Open in Melbourne, breaking a 44-year drought for Australian women players, and while she was still a completely dominant figure at the top of the game.

Barty then married Kissick in July last year in Queensland, and in January announced her pregnancy, declaring: “2023 set to be the best year yet.”

Inevitably, though, since her retirement as the world No.1 at the peak of her powers, there has been speculation over whether Barty, now 27, might decide to make a comeback at some point.

And, doubtless, the guessing games will still continue over whether the woman who lifted three of the slams – French Open (2020), Wimbledon (2021) and Australian Open (2022) – may one day join the band of successful tennis mums.

Down the years, that esteemed list has included Kim Clijsters, Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Barty’s own heroine, Evonne Goolagong-Cawley, who became the first mother to win the Wimbledon singles for 66 years back in 1980.

When asked about the prospect of one day returning to the sport herself, Barty said after her retirement: “I’d say you never say never. I’d say the door is closed, but it’s not padlocked.

“I’m never one to absolutely say never, never, never. But, yeah, it feels like it’s closed.”

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