Australian Ashleigh Barty, who retired from professional tennis last year after winning the Australian Open, announced on Instagram that she was pregnant.
“2023 should be the best year yet. We are so excited for our new adventure,” she wrote on Friday, posting a photo of her dog Origi and a pair of baby shoes. “Origi already the protective big sister.”
In March, Barty stunned the tennis world by announcing she was retiring from the sport aged 25 despite being ranked No. 1 in the world. She had won three major singles titles – the 2019 French Open, 2021 Wimbledon and the 2022 Australian Open.
Barty was the only second reigning world No 1 in women’s football to retire at the top, after Justine Henin, who retired in 2008.
The Australian started her professional tennis career in 2010 but took a break from the sport from 2014 to 2016, saying “it was too much too fast”.
Just 18 at the time, she wanted to “experience the life of a normal teenager,” she said.
She had returned to full-time tennis in 2017 and has continued to dominate the sport, winning 25 of her last 26 matches.
Earlier this week, Barty announced she would return to Melbourne Park for this year’s Australian Open to mentor local prospect Olivia Gadecki.
World No. 202 Gadecki, who received a wildcard for the first Grand Slam of the year, said at the United Cup in Sydney that Barty would be in her side for the tournament which takes place from January 16-29.