Australia delights in Barty's baby joy

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has joined in congratulations and well wishes to an excited Ash Barty after the retired tennis champion shared the news she is pregnant.

While Barty won't defend her Australian Open crown this month she continues to draw headlines.

The 26-year-old former world No.1 revealed her baby joy on social media on Friday night.

Barty posted a photo on Instagram of her dog Origi with a pair of baby shoes.

"2023 set to be the best year yet. We are so excited for our new adventure," Barty wrote in a caption including a baby emoji.

"Origi already the protective big sister."

Her husband, golf pro Garry Kissick, also posted on Instagram a photo of the baby shoes with the dog and a baby-sized Liverpool kit with the caption "Little Red, 2023" and a baby emoji.

The PM joined those sending well wishes to former Young Australian of the Year Barty.

"This is just fantastic news that Ash Barty is going to be a new mum in 2023," Albanese said on Saturday.

"Ash Barty is someone who is a great credit to Australia. I had the privilege of being there to watch her win the Australian Open in January of last year.

"Ash Barty carries herself so well and is just a great Australian and I think that all Australians will wish Ash Barty all the very very best.

"I look forward to seeing Ash Barty in whatever she does. She's going to be a winner on the court and off the court and congratulations."

The three-time grand-slam champion's news comes nine months after she shocked the tennis world by quitting the sport just seven weeks after ending Australia's 44-year singles title drought at the Open.

Barty has already been busy in retirement, publishing a series of children's books, releasing her own autobiography "My Dream Time", starting a foundation and mentoring emerging young tennis star Olivia Gadecki.

While she won't be playing, Barty will still be a conspicuous presence at Melbourne Park this month, supporting Gadecki when the 20-year-old makes her eagerly-anticipated Open debut when the major starts on January 16.