Ash Barty's brilliant act for new World No.1 after retirement call

Ash Barty (pictured left) smiling at a media opportunity and (pictured right) Iga Swiatek celebrating a win.
Retired tennis star Ash Barty (pictured left) congratulated 20-year-old Iga Swiatek (pictured right) for reaching World No.1. (Getty Images)

Ash Barty has praised Iga Swiatek after the 20-year-old officially became the new World No.1 after the Aussie retired from tennis last week.

Barty's shock retirement from tennis, at the age of 25, left the Pole and the rest of the WTA in a state of shock.

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However, while the game loses a three-time grand slam champion, a new star has now claimed the No.1 crown.

Swiatek won her second round Miami Open clash, which secured her the ranking when they are released on April 4.

The Pole will become the youngest World No.1, 20 years and 308 days, since Caroline Wozniacki in 2011.

She will also become the first Pole in history to reach World No.1.

And after her match, Barty was quick to praise Swiatek.

"There is no better person. The way that she's brought this fresh, fearless energy onto the court has been incredible," said Barty.

"I hope she can take it and still be her, do it her own way, and really chase what she's after in her career and her dreams."

Iga Swiatek praises Ash Barty

Following her retirement, Swiatek was one of the stars to praise Barty for what she had accomplished in the game.

In an interview, Swiatek admitted she shed some tears after finding out her Tour friend would be calling it a day.

"You already know that I like to cry, so I was crying for a long time," Swiatek explained in Miami.

"There was lot of confusion in me, for sure. But also sadness because when I think of the player that is really complete in terms of physicality, mentality, tennis-wise, I always thought of Ash and I always looked up to her.

Iga Swiatek (pictured right) and Ashleigh Barty (pictured left) shake hands at the Madrid Open in 2021.
Iga Swiatek (pictured right) and Ashleigh Barty (pictured left) shake hands at the Madrid Open in 2021. (Photo by Oscar J. Barroso / Europa Press Sports via Getty Images)

"I mean, I still do!

"It would be really nice also to be able to compete against her for the next few years and actually try to play better and better, to be able to beat her slice. We're going to miss her, for sure.

"I really respect and I really think she's brave that she has made this decision because with all the expectations around.

"That's an example not only for us tennis players or other athletes, but every person that they should put their own happiness first."

Swiatek will play Coco Gauff in the Third Round of the Miami Open.

with AAP

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