Good morning and happy thursday, hoddlers.

After I finished Wednesday’s hoddle, I went to bed feeling pretty good about myself. Then, as one does these days, I went through my evening ritual of doomscrolling when I saw something unbelievable: Ahleigh Barty announced her retirement from tennis.

I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it. Nearly 24 hours later, I still do not believe it.

Barty has been (or was, I guess) a dominant force on the WTA tour since she returned to the sport in 2016 after taking some time off. Since returning she won three Grand Slam titles, a bronze medal at the 2020 Olympics in mixed doubles and reached Number One in the world.

And she was a dominant World No. 1, something the sport hasn’t seen in a long time. She was the calm, cool player who wasn’t exactly flashy, but she blew her opponents off the court.

Take a look at this year’s Australian Open, for example. She lost just 30 games en route to winning the tournament (9 of them were in the…



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