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Ashleigh Barty’s retirement probably cost Tennis Australia millions according to reports

A foxsports.com.au report on Saturday claimed that TA was planning to use Barty’s popularity for their good, “potentially looking at an unprecedented TV rights deal worth up to AUD500 million over five years for the Aussie summer of tennis”.

SNS | New Delhi |

Former world number one Tennis Player Ashleigh Barty’s spontaneous decision to retire from her sport and that too at her peak has probably caused Tennis Australia (TA) a million-dollar loss as the sporting body was hoping to generate a lot of revenue through television rights for covering the Australian’s matches.

The Aussie tennis star had the Tennis world in shock when she made her decision to retire public a month before her 26th birthday.

Having won the French Open in 2019, the Wimbledon in 2021, and the Australian Open earlier this year, the 26-year-old had the world at her feet as her reign of 114 consecutive weeks at No.1 was the fourth-longest streak in the history of the WTA Tour, behind Germany’s Steffi Graf (186 weeks), American stalwart Serena Williams (186) and Czechoslovakian-American great Martina Navratilova (156). Barty’s 121 total weeks as the top-ranked player is currently No.7 on the all-time list.

A foxsports.com.au report on Saturday claimed that TA was planning to use Barty’s popularity for their good, “potentially looking at an unprecedented TV rights deal worth up to AUD500 million over five years for the Aussie summer of tennis”.

The report said that Channel 9’s ratings had risen to a high level after the Aussie won the 2022 Australian Open and Rafael Nadal broke the record with his 21st Grand Slam title.

Ashleigh Barty’s Australian Open final against Danielle Collins of the US was reportedly the most-watched women’s final since the current TV rating system began, according to the report.

TA was reportedly looking at a financial fiasco with Channel 7 too being “interested” in winning back the rights from Channel 9.

According to the reports, currently, the Australian Open rights are worth AUD60m annually (AUD300m across five years), but ‘The Australian’ had also reported in February that the figure would probably go upwards when the next deal begins from 2025 as the high ratings in 2022 and Barty’s exploits on the tennis courts.

However, this may not be the case now with Barty calling it a day, the report stated.

(Inputs from IANS)