Ashleigh Barty holds the Australian Open trophy and waves

Photo: Martin Sidorjak

One of the great tragedies of sport is that precious few athletes get to leave on their own terms, still at the top of their respective games. Only a handful have done it.

And that list got one person longer last week when reigning WTA No. 1 Ashleigh Barty shocked the world by announcing her retirement just two months after winning the Australian Open at just age 25.

Needless to say, this news rocked the tennis world. Have a look:

She did what?

Barty is just the second singles player, male or female, to retire while atop the rankings, the other being Justine Henin in 2008.

Her peers took to Twitter to share their feelings about Barty and her shocking announcement.

Next woman up

There are a number of women who could take over the top spot after the Miami Open this week, but the favourite is probably the newly-ascended world No. 2 Iga Świątek. The WTA seems ready for that eventuality, as they used the Pole in a pretty great Twitter contest last week.