'Shocked': Tennis world pays tribute to retiring Barty

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Ash Barty | AP

Sydney: World number one Ashleigh Barty's surprise retirement from tennis was met with shock and an outpouring of well wishes from current and former greats Wednesday.

The three-times Grand Slam champion shared a video on social media in which she said she would "step away and chase other dreams".

Karolina Pliskova, who Barty defeated in the final to win Wimbledon last year, congratulated the Australian for an "incredible career".

"It was a privilege to share a court with you," tweeted the Czech former world number one. "You will be missed."

Britain's three-time Grand Slam champion and former number one Andy Murray said on Twitter: "Happy for @ashbarty. Gutted for tennis. What a player"

Romania's Simona Halep addressed Barty directly: "Ash, what can I say, you know I have tears right? My friend, I will miss you on tour. You were different, and special, and we shared some amazing moments."

The former world number one speculated what may be next for Barty: "Grand Slam champion in golf?!"

American Andy Roddick offered a succinct reaction, retweeting the announcement with a simple "wow".

The World Tennis Association thanked Barty "for the indelible mark you've left on-court, off-court and in our hearts". AFP

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