Prime Minister Scott Morrison has led tributes to Ash Barty, following the world No.1’s shock decision to retire from tennis.
Barty made the bombshell announcement on social media on Wednesday, saying the time was right to step away from the sport, after winning three Grand Slams including the Australian Open and Wimbledon.
The prime minister said he wished Barty all the best for her future, following news of her retirement.
“I want today to say thank you to you Ash, for inspiring a generation of young people, and particularly a generation of young Indigenous people in this country,” he told reporters in Rockhampton.
“You are all class … I am sure anything you turn your hand to, you are going to be a great success.
“None of us will forget her triumphant win in Wimbledon, and now, none of us will ever forget that incredible comeback down there at the Australian Open this year.”
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese also paid tribute to Barty’s career.
“An inspiration, a magician on the court, a champion of Wimbledon and the Australian Open – world No.1. As you climbed to the very top, you lifted us all,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Congratulations to Ash Barty on a magnificent career.”
Health Minister Greg Hunt said Barty hit the court with “such amazing drive” and will be “long remembered in Australian sporting history”.
Greens leader Adam Bandt described Barty as an “inspiration to many” and would “always be our champion”.
“Good luck chasing your next dreams. You deserve it,” he said.
Barty has retired after spending two years as world No.1, saying she had thought about such a move for a long time.