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World Top-Ranked Tennis Star Announced Stunning Retirement at 25

Ash Barty, the No. 1 ranked Women's Tennis Association player and a recent three-time Gland Slam singles champion, announced her retirement at the age of 25 on Wednesday (March 23).

Barty's announcement comes less than two months after winning the Australian Open in her native country, having also previously won at Wimbledon in 2021 and the French Open in 2019.

"I'm so happy, and I'm so ready. I just know at the moment, in my heart, for me as a person, this is right," Barty said during a six-minute video announcing her retirement alongside doubles partner, Casey Dellacqua, shared on her verified Instagram account in Australia.

During the video, Barty said it was time to "chase other dreams" and no longer felt compelled to continue the regiment required to compete at the top level.

"It's the first time I've actually said it out loud, and yeah, it's hard to say," Barty said during the video. "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."

Barty announced her engagement to trainee golf professional Garry Kissick -- who she'd been dating since 2016 -- in November just before her recent Australian Open victory.

The 25-year-old had previously stepped away from tennis in 2014, nearly two years after becoming Wimbledon junior champion at the age of 15, due to burnout brought on by overwhelming pressure and travel requirements.

Barty had previously played professional cricket for the Brisbane Heat of the Women's Big Bash League in Australia during her time away from tennis before eventually returning to the game 21 months later.

The 25-year-old won 15 tour-level singles and 12 doubles titles since officially turning pro in 2010, spending 121 total weeks ranked as the WTA's No. 1 ranked player, which includes the past 114 consecutive weeks.

Barty had also recently won 25 of her past 26 matches and three of the last four events she appeared in prior to the announcement but hadn't appeared in a tournament since her Australian Open victory in November.

Justine Henin of Belgium is the only other woman to announce her retirement while ranked No. 1 overall.

Henin was also 25 at the time of her announcement and eventually returned, reaching the final round of the 2010 Australian Open before permanently retiring in 2011.

WTA CEO Steve Simon released a statement on behalf of the organization calling Barty "the ultimate competitor" and acknowledging that she "has always led by example through the unwavering professionalism and sportsmanship she brought to every match," adding "we will miss her."

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