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Tennis world shocked by Ashleigh Barty retirement

File pic. Ashleigh Barty of Australia during her women's final match against Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic at the Wimbledon Championships, Wimbledon, Britain 10 July 2021. Picture: NEIL HALL/EPA

File pic. Ashleigh Barty of Australia during her women's final match against Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic at the Wimbledon Championships, Wimbledon, Britain 10 July 2021. Picture: NEIL HALL/EPA

Published Mar 23, 2022

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Sydney - World number one Ashleigh Barty's surprise retirement from tennis was met with shock and an outpouring of well wishes from current and former greats Wednesday.

The three-times Grand Slam champion shared a video on social media in which she said she would "step away and chase other dreams".

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Karolina Pliskova, who Barty defeated to win Wimbledon last year, congratulated the Australian for an "incredible career".

"It was a privilege to share a court with you," tweeted the Czech former world number one. "You will be missed."

ALSO READ: Watch - ’I just don’t have it in me anymore ...’ World No 1 Ashleigh Barty, 25, calls it quits

Britain's three-time Grand Slam champion and former number one Andy Murray said on Twitter: "Happy for @ashbarty. Gutted for tennis. What a player"

Romania's Simona Halep addressed Barty directly: "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."

The former world number one speculated what may be next for Barty: "Grand Slam champion in golf?!"

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American former world number one Andy Roddick offered a succinct reaction, retweeting the announcement with a simple "wow".

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The World Tennis Association thanked Barty "for the indelible mark you've left on-court, off-court and in our hearts".

There were also tributes that spoke to Barty's popularity among fellow players.

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"Ash, I have no words..." said the Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova.

"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!"

AFP

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