By Jennifer Roback
Ashleigh Barty is known for her career in tennis and is arguably one of the greatest players of her generation.
Ranked as the No. 1 player in the world, the star shocked the tennis world on March 23, 2022, when she announced she was retiring from the professional game.
"Today is difficult and filled with emotion for me as I announce my retirement from tennis," Barty wrote in an Instagram post.
"I am so thankful for everything this sport has given me and leave feeling proud and fulfilled. Thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way, I'll always be grateful for the lifelong memories that we created together."
Along with the post, Barty also added a video where she explained her decsision, adding that she has been considering retirement for a "long time."
"There was a perspective shift in me in the second phase of my career, that my happiness wasn't dependent on the results, and success for me is knowing I've given absolutely everything I can," she said.
"I know how much work it takes to bring the best out of yourself. I've said it to my team multiple times, it's just I don't have that in me anymore. I don't have the physical drive, the emotional want, and everything it takes to challenge yourself at the very top of the level anymore, and I just know that I am spent. I just know physically, I have nothing more to give. That, for me, is success."
The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) later confirmed her retirement in a seperate statement.
"Ashleigh Barty with her signature slice backhand, complemented by being the ultimate competitor, has always led by example through the unwavering professionalism and sportsmanship she brought to every match," WTA chairman and CEO Steve Simon said.
"With her accomplishments at the Grand Slams, WTA Finals, and reaching the pinnacle ranking of No.1 in the world, she has clearly established herself as one the great champions of the WTA."
Barty's accomplishments include three major singles titles, 15 singles titles, and 12 doubles titles on the WTA Tour. She was also the first Australian to win the Australian Open singles title since 1978, CNN reports.
The star had previously taken a break between 2014 and 2016 and later returned the following year to win 25 of her last 26 matches.
Those victories were "my perfect way to celebrate what an amazing journey my tennis career has been," Barty added.
As news started to spread, a number of fans took to Twitter to congradulate her on her new adventure.
Sam Vecenie, a Senior Writer for The Athletic, wrote: "Respect the hell out of Ash Barty being like 'I have accomplished literally everything I have set out to do, I’m ready to move on to do other things.' Kind of a baller move to go out as the best in the world at something in your prime because you’re ready for other things."
Simona Halep, a professional tennis player, added: "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."
Outside of tennis, Barty is also known for her talent in cricket and golf, The Guardian notes.