World No.1 Ash Barty has announced her retirement from tennis, calling it the "right time" to do so as she is physically and emotionally spent.
The Australian Open champion, who hasn't played a match since winning the tournament in January, posted on social media on Wednesday that she had decided to call time on her decorated tennis career.
The 25-year-old said retirement was something she had been contemplating for a while, as she did not have the physical drive, or emotional want, to continue.
"It's the first time I've actually said it out loud, and ... it's hard to say but I'm so happy and I'm so ready," she said.
"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
"I just know physically I have nothing more to give and that for me is success. I have given absolutely everything I can to this beautiful sport of tennis.
"I know people may not understand it and that's OK, I'm OK with that because I know that for me Ash Barty the person has so many dreams that she wants to chase after that don't necessarily involve travelling the world, being away from my family and being away from my home."
The Queenslander is set to answer more questions at a press conference on Thursday about her decision to step away from the sport and her future plans.
The three-time Grand Slam champion said she was ready to make the call on her career after winning Wimbledon back in July, but soon realised there was one thing missing.
"To be able to win Wimbledon, which was my dream, the one true dream that I wanted in tennis, that really changed my perspective," she said.
"I just had that gut feeling after Wimbledon ... and there was just a little part of me that wasn't quite satisfied.
"And then came the challenge of the Australian Open. That for me just feels like the most perfect way, my perfect way, to celebrate what an amazing journey my tennis career has been."
READ MORE: Ash Barty wins 2022 Australian Open title
Barty previously stepped away from tennis to pursue a cricket career in the WBBL in 2015, after signing with the Brisbane Heat. She returned to tennis in early 2016 and went on to win the French Open three years later.
And whilst she initially provided hope she may be pursuing a dream in another sport such as cricket, she seemingly shut down those rumours with four words.
"I want to chase after some other dreams that I've always wanted to do," Barty said.
"I'll never ever ever stop loving tennis, it will always be a massive part of my life but now I think it's important that I get to enjoy the next phase of my life as Ash Barty the person not Ash Barty the athlete."
Sports reporter at The Canberra Times. A Novocastrian with a passion for football (or soccer as they call it in the capital) via The Examiner and The Port Lincoln Times.
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