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World No 1 tennis player Ash Barty yesterday announced her surprise retirement from the game at the age of 25.
Here’s how the world reacted.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison
“I especially want to say ‘thank you’, Ash, for inspiring a generation of young people and especially a generation of young aboriginal people in this country.
“None of us will, of course, forget the triumphant victory at Wimbledon and none of us will ever forget that incredible comeback there at the Australian Open this year, which once again showed everyone world what you can do when you really apply yourself.”
Andy Murray, former men’s world No. 1
“Happy for Ash Barty, gutted for tennis. What a player.
Former Women’s World No. 1 Serena Williams
“Ash Barty, I can’t lie, I was sad to read your decision but also happy for your new chapter. Always your fan from near and far. Sending all my love.
Former tennis player and current Australian of the Year Dylan Alcott
“Ash Barty. Amazing tennis player but even better person. A champion in every sense of the word. Very proud of you mate.
Australian tennis great and friend Evonne Goolagong
“I’m so supportive of Ash and making the decision that’s best for her and makes her happy. I can’t wait to see what the next chapter will bring and see Ash achieve her post-tennis dreams.
Eighteen-time Grand Slam winner Martina Navratilova
“Dear Ash – you leave the world of tennis and sport both speechless and full of praise.
“Enjoy this chapter of your life after tennis – we will miss you, your smile and your beautiful game. Be happy champion, the Hall of Fame awaits you!”
Simona Halep, two-time Grand Slam champion
“Ash, what can I say, you know I’m in tears, right? My friend, I’m going to miss you on tour. You were different and special, and we shared some amazing times. What a is next for you? Golf Grand Slam Champion?!”
Craig Tiley, CEO of Tennis Australia
“One of the highlights of my career was being by his side after he won [the Australian Open]. I never would have thought that three months later we would have had this conversation about Ash’s retirement.
“It’s once in a lifetime that someone like Ash comes along. But whatever she does, she will achieve great things and we respect her decision.
Steve Simon, CEO of the Women’s Tennis Association
“With her accomplishments at Grand Slams, WTA Finals and reaching the top of the world No. 1 ranking, she has clearly established herself as one of the WTA’s great champions.
“We wish Ash the best and know that she will continue to be a tremendous ambassador for the sport of tennis as she embarks on this new chapter in her life. She will be missed.