Sydney, Australia, Mar 23 (EFE).- Australian world No. 1 women’s tennis star Ashleigh Barty announced on Wednesday that she is retiring from tennis at the age of 25.
“Today is difficult and filled with emotion for me as I announce my retirement from tennis,” Barty wrote in a message alongside a video on her Instagram account.
“I’m so happy and I’m so ready and I just know at the moment, in my heart, for me as a person, this is right,” she said in the video filmed with retired Australian tennis player Casey Dellacqua.
“I’m so grateful to everything that tennis has given me. It’s given me all of my dreams plus more, but I know that the time is right now for me to step away and chase other dreams,” she added.
Barty said it was something she had been thinking about for a long time.
“I know how much work it takes to bring the best our of yourself… I don’t have that in me anymore.”
“I don’t have the physical drive, the emotional want and everything it takes to challenge yourself at the top of the level anymore,” said Barty, who has been the world No. 1 for more than two years. “I am spent. I just know physically I have nothing more to give.”
“I have given absolutely everything I can to this beautiful sport of tennis and I’m really happy with that. And for me, that is my success.”
Reactions flooded in from around the world, including from Scottish tennis star Andy Murray, who tweeted: “Happy for @ashbarty, gutted for tennis. What a player.”
“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,” tweeted Romanian former world No. 1 Simona Halep.
The last match Barty played as a professional was the Australian Open final, in which she beat American Danielle Collins in two sets and became the first Australian to win the tournament in 44 years.
It was her third Grand Slam title after winning the French Open in 2019 and Wimbledon in 2021.
This is not the first time that Barty has retired from tennis.
She had also announced a hiatus from the game in 2014 at the age of 17 to play professional cricket before returning to the courts two years later.
The Australian had a breakthrough year in 2019, when she won her first Grand Slam title in Paris and became the world No. 1 for the first time, a position she has held for 119 weeks since.
Barty has won 15 singles titles and 12 doubles titles in the span of her tennis career. EFE