Casey is no longer at the bat. And yet. She has far from struck out, as that classic poem goes.
With posts shared across social channels, celebrated Australian tennis star Casey Dellacqua retired on Tuesday at age 33. In her announcement, she cited a desire to stay close to home after "fulfilling my childhood dream of being a professional athlete."
"I definitely feel like it's the right time for me to hang up the racquets," Dellacqua said in a video message posted to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that quickly circulated among plugged-in tennis fans and observers. "It's time for me to be a mum, and it's time for me to spend time with my family, particularly while my kids are young. It's a precious time in life, and I really feel like it's a time when I want to be at home with my family."
Dellacqua has two young kids, son Blake and daughter Andie, with partner Amanda Judd.
"Playing for Australia ... was always a highlight," she added. "I also can't wait for the best of me away from the tennis court. I'm really excited about that next stage of my life."
On the occasion of Dellacqua's retirement, Tennis Australia, the country's governing body for the sport, released a compendium of her top moments.
A homegrown role model, Dellacqua was feted in May as Australia's LGBTI sports personality of the year. She became an outspoken proponent of marriage equality and LGBT rights as her career marched on, challenging Aussie legend Margaret Court's traditional view of marriage and anti-gay rhetoric.
On court, Dellacqua was a doubles specialist with bursts of great singles play. The 2011 French Open mixed doubles champion alongside Scott Lipsky, she also won seven WTA tour-level women's doubles crowns. What's more, she reached a cache of seven major women's doubles championship matches, most recently at the 2017 French Open. And thrice she reached major singles rounds of 16, with her singles ranking peaked at No. 26 after she reached the fourth round of the 2014 U.S. Open.
A veritable slew of active and retired tennis pros – including compatriots, women's and mixed doubles partners, coaches, and/or fellow mothers – weighed in on Dellacqua's heartfelt news.
Casey, congrats on the retirement. Thank you for carrying me to that mixed title in Paris. You are the best. Hope to see you soon— Scott Lipsky (@scottlipsky16) April 10, 2018
We will always have Paris ???? it was a pleasure to play with you Scott. See you soon!!! https://t.co/vabCTqJ9vk— caseydellacqua (@caseydellacqua) April 11, 2018
To my friend @caseydellacqua 7 time grand slam doubles finalist and French open mixed doubles slam champ! ???????????????? achieving it after surgeries and other tough obstacles ...I love you like my sister! Congratulations on an incredible career! ????☝️???????? ❤️ pic.twitter.com/ipQOqu1Deb— rennae stubbs (@rennaestubbs) April 10, 2018
Honestly, I've said this directly to @caseydellacqua.. But I just want to let the Twitter world know that she was the best team mate and I'm really going to miss her ???? ????????— Daria Gavrilova (@Daria_gav) April 10, 2018
A ???????? national treasure. X https://t.co/FcDIrW2EJB— judy murray (@JudyMurray) April 10, 2018
All class. Congrats on a wonderful career, Casey, and all best to you and yours. ????????— Rajeev Ram (@RajeevRam) April 10, 2018
@caseydellacqua Congrats on a Great career and thank you for being an inspirational woman to so many. ❤️ Enjoy life after tennis .... ❤️— Kim Clijsters (@Clijsterskim) April 10, 2018
The sport was lucky to have you. In my opinion, you will always be remembered for competing the right way and showing respect. So I hope you realize your goal was accomplished. Best of luck in the next chapter https://t.co/SGyROOFkXS— James Blake (@JRBlake) April 10, 2018
After all the titles and other accolades, Dellacqua takes with her two things that not all pro athletes get: She leaves the sport on her terms, and with a sizable chorus of her peers saying "so well done."
Follow Jon on Twitter @jonscott9.