Australian tennis player Ellen Perez was one of the many players that reacted to Ashleigh Barty's shock retirement. Perez, ranked at No. 196 in the world, saw Barty as an inspiration and reflected on some the lessons she has learned from the three-time Grand Slam champion.
"What Ash Barty has taught me; March to the beat of your own drum. Know who you are, what you want, what makes you happy/fulfilled and go get it. You have given Australia and this sport so much, so thank you! What a career, what a person.
Enjoy the next chapter of life mate," Perez tweeted.
Barty announced she was retiring on Instagram
"Today is difficult and filled with emotion for me as I announce my retirement from tennis. I wasn’t sure how to share this news with you so I asked my good friend @caseydellacqua to help me.
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," Barty wrote.
Andy Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion and former former world No. 1, congratulated Barty on a great career and added her retirement is a big loss for the game. "Happy for @ashbarty gutted for tennis, what a player," Murray wrote on Twitter.
Sania Mirza, who is playing her last season on the WTA Tour, also shared a touching message to Barty. What a legend @ashbarty, tennis will miss you. Unbelievable role model on and off the court. Good luck mate for this next phase," Mirza wrote in a tweet.
Barty appeared in two tournaments this year and won two titles. After winning the Adelaide International, Barty achieved her chidlhood dream of winning the Australian Open.