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Top-ranked Ash Barty retires from tennis at 25

Sep 4, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; 
Ashleigh Barty of Australia after losing to Shelby Rogers of the USA on day six of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Ash Barty, the reigning Australian Open champion and the top-ranked women’s tennis player in the world, announced her retirement Tuesday night.

The 25-year-old Australian said in a social media post, “Today is difficult and filled with emotion for me as I announce my retirement from tennis.

“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.”

She added that she would say more at a news conference Wednesday.

Since her professional career began in 2010, Barty had won 27 combined titles (15 singles and 12 doubles) — more than any player during that stretch. She retires with three Grand Slam singles titles: the 2019 French Open, 2021 Wimbledon and this year’s Australian Open.

She has held the WTA’s No. 1 rating for the past 114 straight weeks, the fourth-longest streak in history. Only Steffi Graf (186 weeks), Serena Williams (186) and Martina Navratilova (156) had longer runs. Overall, she has been No. 1 for 121 weeks, which ranks seventh behind Graf (377), Navratilova (332), Serena Williams (319), Chris Evert (260), Martina Hingis (209) and Monica Seles (178).

“Ashleigh Barty … has always led by example through the unwavering professionalism and sportsmanship she brought to every match,” WTA CEO Steve Simon said in a statement. “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. We wish Ash only the very best and know that she will continue to be a tremendous ambassador for the sport of tennis as she embarks on this new chapter of her life. We will miss her.”

–Field Level Media