Serena Williams reacts to shock Ashleigh Barty retirement from tennis

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Serena Williams reacts to shock Ashleigh Barty retirement from tennis

Tennis great Serena Williams was at first sad to hear Ashleigh Barty was stepping away from the game at a very young age but added that she is also happy for the Australian and what's to come next for her in her life. Three weeks after withdrawing from the Masters events in Indian Wells and Miami, Barty announced a shock retirement from tennis.

Williams and Barty clashed two times and twice the American ended on the winning side. Their two meetings came at the Grand Slam level as Williams beat Barty at the Australian Open in 2014, before also beating the Australian at the French Open four years later.

"@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," Williams tweeted.

Barty retires, Williams not done yet

Williams, who hasn't played since Wimbledon, has revealed her plans to return this year.

Meanwhile, Barty explained her decision to retire at 25. "There was a perspective shift in me in this second phase of my career that my happiness wasn't dependant on the results. Success for me is knowing that I've given everything that I can, I'm fulfilled, I'm happy," Barty said in a conversation with Casey Dellacqua.

"I know much work it takes to bring the best out of yourself. I've said it to my team multiple times, I just don't have it 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.

I just know that I'm absolutely spent. I know I have physically I have nothing more to give. That for me is success. I've given eveything I can to this beautiful sport of tennis. I'm really happy with that. For me that is my success."