Canberra [Australia], March 23 (ANI): Tennis fraternity sent words of praise and congratulations to World No.1 Ashleigh Barty, who announced her retirement from professional tennis on Wednesday.
Barty announced her shock retirement from tennis at the age of 25. She has been the No.1-ranked WTA player for 114 consecutive weeks and counting.
Shelby Rogers, who is the last player to defeat Barty, at the 2021 US Open took to Twitter and wrote: "What a legend. Incredible inspiration on and off the court. One of the best human beings I've ever met. Our number 1! Best of luck @ashbarty."
"Happy for @ashbarty gutted for tennis what a player," wrote former men's world number 1 and Grand Slam champion Andy Murray.
Indian tennis star and Grand Slam champion Sania Mirza wrote: "What a legend @ashbarty.. tennis will miss you .. unbelievable role model on and off the court .. good luck mate for this next phase."
Barty and Petra Kvitova have had a notable and friendly rivalry. The two Grand Slam champions have played each other 10 times, with six of those matches going three sets. Their head-to-head concludes at a deadlocked 5-5.
"Ash, I have no words... actually you are showing your true class leaving tennis in this beautiful way. I am so happy I could share the court with you.. tennis will never be the same without you! I admire you as a player and a person.. wishing you only the best!" Petra Kvitova said.
Simona Halep, former world number one and Grand Slam champion said: "Ash, what can I say, you know I have tears right? My friend, I will miss you on tour. You were different, and special, and we shared some amazing moments. What's next for you? Grand Slam champion in golf?! Be happy and enjoy your life to the max xo Simo."
Barty's compatriot Dylan Alcott, who was named the 2022 Australian of the Year, also retired this season, following a career where he became the first man to complete the Golden Slam in quad singles.
"Ash Barty. Amazing tennis player but even better person. A champion in every sense of the word. Very proud of you mate," he wrote.
Barty is retiring after winning three major singles titles on three different surfaces - the 2019 French Open, the 2021 Wimbledon and, back in January, the Australian Open. In all, she collected 15 titles in singles and 12 in doubles - more than any other active player in that span. (ANI)