Ashleigh Barty retirement reaction: Andy Murray ‘gutted’, Simona Halep jokes about Aussie’s next adventure

Ashleigh Barty celebrates her Australian Open success

Ashleigh Barty stunned the sporting world on Wednesday when she announced her retirement from professional tennis, barely two months after winning the Australian Open.

The 25-year-old not only quits the sport as the reigning Australian Open champion, but she is also the reigning Wimbledon champion while she bows out while being world No 1 in the WTA Rankings.

In fact, it was when she fulfilled a lifelong dream last July when she won Wimbledon when her perspective changed.

“To be able to win Wimbledon, which was my dream, the one true dream that I wanted in tennis, that really changed my perspective. I just had that gut feeling after Wimbledon and I’d spoken to my team quite a lot about it,” she said.

Ash Barty news: World No 1 and reigning Wimbledon and Australian Open champion retires

Naturally Barty’s colleagues have paid tribute to her as she was, after all, considered one of the nicest players on the tennis circuit.

Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray was “gutted”.

Former world No 1 and two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep joked about Barty’s next adventure.

“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. What’s next for you? Grand Slam champion in golf?! Be happy and enjoy your life to the max xo Simo,” she wrote.

Halep’s former coach Darren Cahill also praised his compatriot.

American Shelby Rogers described her as “one of the best human beings I’ve ever met”, she wrote: “What a legend. Incredible inspiration on and off the court. One of the best human beings I’ve ever met.”

Another former world No 1 in Karolina Pliskova, who finished runner-up to Barty at Wimbledon last year, also took to Twitter to pay tribute.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova was another who was happy to have shared a court with the Australian.

American Madison Keys was another one who described her as “one of the nicest people on tour”.

Ditto tennis icon Tracy Austin.

Barty’s fellow Australian and Australian Open men’s doubles champion Thanasi Kokkinakis.

Former doubles world No 1 Sania Mirza, who has won three women’s doubles Grand Slam titles and three mixed doubles Grand Slam titles.

Farewell Ashleigh Barty, the tennis world will dearly miss you.