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18-year-old Australian Barty to take tennis break

September 19, 2014

SYDNEY (AP) — Australian teenager and former Wimbledon junior champion Ashleigh Barty says she is taking a break from tennis.

The 18-year-old Barty says she needs to take time out and offered no timetable for a return or a reason for the layoff.

Despite reaching three Grand Slam doubles finals last year with Casey Dellacqua, Barty has had difficulty in singles — her ranking peaked at No. 129 in September 2013, but she’s currently 216th.

Barty, coached by former Australian player Jason Stoltenberg, says “obviously this has been a very difficult decision ... but after a lot of thought, we feel this is the right decision.”

She received eight wild-card entries into Grand Slam singles events before qualifying for this year’s U.S. Open, where she lost in the first round.

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