The year 2023 will be special for Ashleigh Barty and her husband Garry Kissick as they will welcome their first child into the world.
Former world No 1 Barty took to Instagram on Friday to announce the happy news with a picture of white baby shoes and the couple’s dog Origi.
“2023 set to be the best year yet. We are so excited for our new adventure
Origi already the protective big sister
,” the caption read.
Kissick, a massive fan of English Premier League club Liverpool, posted a different version of the photo as it contained a Liverpool away jersey and captioned it: “Little Red, 2023
Naturally Barty’s former tennis colleagues were quick to congratulate the couple with the likes of Johanna Konta, who gave birth to her first child last year, Caroline Garcia and Laura Robson among those to reply on Instagram.
Barty and Kissick became engaged in November 2021 and they tied the knot in July last year – just a few months after the former retired from tennis.
“He’s extremely patient with me, and when we met he didn’t know a lot about tennis,” Barty in an interview with Vogue after their marriage was confirmed.
“He’s kind of been thrown in the very deep end in understanding what the tour is like and how much we’re apart, but he’s the best person to have around in the sense of switching off from tennis and being able to bring the fun and laughter.
“I certainly wouldn’t want to share this journey with anyone else.”
After ending Australia’s 44-year drought for an Australian Open women’s singles title winner in January 2022, then world No 1 Barty announced a few weeks later that she is to hang up her racket for good.
There had been a lot of speculation that the three-time Grand Slam winner could turn her attention to another sport – with both golf and cricket rumoured to be in the running – following her retirement from tennis, but that has now been pushed to the side following her pregnancy announcement.
It has also been confirmed in recent days that Barty will feature at the 2023 Australian Open as she has taken up a mentoring roll with youngster Olivia Gadecki.
“She has always been there for me. The best part is she just treats me like a normal person and we can relate in that regard and off court is just as important as on court,” world No 202 Gadecki said of her fellow Queenslander.
READ MORE: Ashleigh Barty insists ‘I’m done’ with tennis – and don’t expect to see her in the commentary booth
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