Australian tennis star Ash Barty has announced her retirement from the sport at the age of 25.
The World No.1 made the announcement in an emotional video message on social media on Wednesday morning.
“It’s hard to say but I’m so happy and so ready,” Barty said.
“I just know at the moment in my heart for me as a person this is right.
“I’m so grateful for everything tennis has given me.
“It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time.”
Barty said her victory at the All England Club in 2021 was the turning point in her life and career.
“To win Wimbledon, which was the one true dream that I had in tennis really, changed my perspective,” she said.
“I had that gut feeling after Wimbledon and had spoken to my team quite a lot about it and there was just a little part of me that wasn’t quite fulfilled.
“That just feels like the most perfect way to celebrate what an amazing journey my tennis career has been.”
Barty’s most recent Grand Slam victory came as she claimed the Australian Open title in January in dominant fashion.
Her first Grand Slam singles title came in 2019, the same year she rose to the world no.1 ranking.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison paid tribute to the three-time Grand Slam champion’s inspiring career.
“On the way here we learned the news that Ash Barty would be retiring from tennis. I was able to leave a message for her before we got out of the car, and to her and Gary I want to wish them all the very best for their future,” he said in Rockhampton.
“I just simply want to say thank you for inspiring a generation of young people and particularly a generation of young Indigenous people in this country.
“You are all class.
“I do want to say thank you for inspiring a country, inspiring a nation at a time when this country really needed a good shot in the arm.
“Of course none of us will forget the triumphant win in Wimbledon and none of us will ever forget that incredible comeback down there at the Australian Open this year.”