I admire Ash Barty ‘greatly’: Rod Laver

Melbourne, March 24 : Legendary tennis player Rod Laver on Thursday heaped praise on Ash Barty, who stunned the world with her announcement to retire from the game at 25. The three-time Grand Slam winner Barty of Australia took the decision to “chase other dreams”. She won major singles titles on three different surfaces – 2019 Roland Garros, 2021 Wimbledon and most recently the Australian Open in 2022 – and spent 121 total weeks atop the WTA Rankings. Barty’s compatriot Laver, who won 11 Grand Slam singles titles, took to Twitter and said: “Dear Ash, news of your tennis retirement has stunned the world. You march to your own drum with humility and a beaming smile. You are a winner in every sense and I admire you greatly. I wish you great happiness and health.” Meanwhile, former American world No. 1 Billie Jean King tweeted: “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.” Barty’s most recent triumph at the Australian Open will likely be remembered as her most impactful victory as she became the first Australian to win the title at her home Grand Slam event in 44 years, and in convincing fashion without dropping a set. Across all-levels of play, Barty posted a 305-102 record in singles and a 200-64 record in doubles.

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