(Reuters) – Following is reaction to Australia’s world number one Ash Barty’s retirement from professional tennis at the age of 25.
AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER SCOTT MORRISON
“I particularly want to say ‘thank you’ to you, Ash, for inspiring a generation of young people and particularly a generation of young indigenous people in this country.
“None of us will forget, of course, the triumphant win in Wimbledon and none of us will ever forget that incredible comeback down there at the Australian Open this year, which once again showed everybody what you can do when you really apply yourself.”
TENNIS AUSTRALIA CEO CRAIG TILEY, TO SKY NEWS
“It’s once in a lifetime that someone like Ash comes along. But whatever she does, she’s going to achieve great things and we respect her decision.”
AUSTRALIAN GREAT AND LONG-TIME FRIEND EVONNE GOOLAGONG CAWLEY
“I’m so supportive of Ash, and making a decision that is best for her and makes her happy. I can’t wait to see what the next chapter brings, and to watch Ash achieve her dreams post-tennis.”
23-TIMES GRAND SLAM CHAMPION SERENA WILLIAMS
“@ashbarty I can’t lie I was sad to read your decision but also happy for your new chapter. Always your fan close up and afar. Sending all my love.”
U.S. OPEN CHAMPION EMMA RADUCANU, AT MIAMI OPEN
“I just want to wish Ash all the best because she had a great career. She set out to achieve everything she wanted to when she started playing the sport… I took a lot of inspiration from her.”
12-TIMES GRAND SLAM SINGLES WINNER BILLIE JEAN KING
“Australia has a rich history in tennis, and @ashbarty has represented it so well. I have no doubt she will continue to inspire and make a positive difference in the world. I wish her all the best in this next chapter of her life.”
18-TIMES GRAND SLAM SINGLES WINNER MARTINA NAVRATILOVA
“Dear Ash – you are leaving the tennis and sports world quite speechless and full of praise at the same time.
“Enjoy this chapter of your life after tennis – we will miss you, your smile and your beautiful game. Be happy champ, the Hall of Fame is waiting!”
TWICE GRAND SLAM CHAMPION SIMONA HALEP
“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?!”
TWICE GRAND SLAM CHAMPION PETRA KVITOVA
“Ash, I have no words … actually you are showing your true class leaving tennis in this beautiful way.
“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!”
FORMER MEN’S WORLD NUMBER ONE ANDY MURRAY
“Happy for @ashbarty, gutted for tennis. What a player.”
(Compiled by Manasi Pathak and Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford, Nick Macfie and Ed Osmond)