Canberra : Australia's world number one Ashleigh Barty on Tuesday announced her shock retirement from tennis aged just 25.
Barty has been the No.1-ranked WTA player for 114 consecutive weeks and counting. The outgoing Aussie is one month shy of her 26th birthday. "It's the first time I've actually said it out loud and, yeah, it's hard to say," an emotional Barty told former doubles partner Casey Dellacqua in a video posted on her Instagram. "But I'm so happy, and I'm so ready."
"I don't have the physical drive, the emotional want and everything it takes to challenge yourself at the very top of the level any more. I am spent," she added.
Barty is retiring after winning three major singles titles on three different surfaces - the 2019 French Open, the 2021 Wimbledon and, back in January, the Australian Open.
In all, she collected 15 titles in singles and 12 in doubles - more than any other active player in that span.
Across all-levels of play, Barty produced a 305-102 record in singles and a 200-64 record in doubles, earning total career prize money of USD 23,829,071.
Barty's current reign as No.1 is the fourth-longest streak in the history of the Hologic WTA Tour, behind Steffi Graf (186 weeks), Serena Williams (186) and Martina Navratilova (156). Her 121 total weeks are No.7 all time.
Barty becomes the second reigning World No.1 ranked woman to retire while on top, following Justine Henin, who retired in May of 2008, after 61 consecutive weeks at No.1. Henin returned to play two years later.