Ashleigh Barty: Petra Kvitova, Simona Halep, Andy Murray pay tribute following world No 1’s retirement announcement
Fellow Grand Slam winners Petra Kvitova and Simona Halep, Andy Murray and Australian prime minister Scott Morrison were among those to hail Ashleigh Barty’s accomplishments following her retirement announcement .
Tributes have been paid to Ashleigh Barty from the world of tennis and beyond following the world No 1’s shock decision to retire from the sport.
The reigning Australian Open and Wimbledon champion made the announcement with a video posted on her Instagram account, bringing to an end a career which has seen her win three Grand Slams and earn over $23m (£17.39m) in prize money at the age of 25.
Two-time Grand Slam winners Petra Kvitova and Simona Halep were among the fellow players to laud Barty and send their best wishes as the Australian moves into the next phase of her life.
“Ash, I have no words … actually you are showing your true class leaving tennis in this beautiful way,” Kvitova wrote on her Twitter account.
“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!”
Halep, meanwhile, wondered if there would be another switch of sports for Barty, who had a stint playing cricket for Brisbane Heat in the Women’s Big Bash League while taking a break from tennis in 2015 and is a four-handicap golfer.
“Ash, what can I say, you know I have tears right?” Halep posted on her Twitter account. “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?!”
Other players to send tributes to Barty following her retirement announcement included compatriot Daria Saville and world No 8 Karolina Pliskova.
“So much respect for you Ash!” Saville wrote. “Your whole career you’ve done it your way! Always followed your heart and I hope you keep doing this!”
Pliskova added: “Congrats on an incredible career Ash. It was a privilege to share a court with you. Wishing you all the best in your next chapter, @ashbarty. You will be missed.”