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Gauff And Osaka Praise Barty on Such A Bold Move

INTERNATIONAL: With all the attention still firmly on world number one Ash Barty's abrupt retirement, Japan’s Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff of the United States heaped praise on the Australian during news conferences at the Miami Open on Wednesday (March 23).

Barty, a three-time Grand Slam winner and twice champion in Miami, announced she was retiring from tennis at age 25, just two months after she picked up her third major title at home in Australia, stunning competitors at the Masters 1000 tournament.

"I feel really happy for her. I know last year was quite tough," Osaka told reporters after her 6-3 6-4 first-round win over Australia's Astra Sharma at what she calls her "home tournament."


“I feel really happy for her. I know last year was quite tough. She didn’t really go home at all and I think that certainly took a toll. But it was also really inspiring to watch how dedicated she was that entire year and I think she can leave with no regrets. And that’s something that I feel like – she was super amazing for the sport. For me, in particular, I just really loved watching her. I think what she did was ideal. I think it’s cool to leave the game when you’re number one. You feel like you have nothing left to prove or you feel like you’ve accomplished everything that you wanted to.”

“I feel like she kinda – I don’t want to say ‘set the boundaries,’ but she knew what she wanted to do. If that makes sense. I felt like, like after you win the Australian Open of course there are sponsors that come and stuff like that, but she clearly knew what she wanted to do and it’s going to be cool to watch what she does with the rest of her – I don’t know if there’s going to be a new career or if she’s just gonna be chilling, but, yeah.”


“I haven’t really thought about retiring anytime soon. So, not about that, but I obviously wish Ash the best. I was definitely surprised this morning when I saw it, but I was glad she was able to retire on her own terms not due to injury or something. So, I think, for me, that’s what I was the most happy about and I wish her the best in this next chapter.”

“That’s such a – actually I can’t say that word. But I was going to say, that’s such a savage move to walk away at number one. I was going to say something else, but I can’t. That’s such a savage way to leave – not leave, I should say, but end your career on that. For me that sticks out the most to me about Ash is that she’s such a nice person off the court. Obviously, on the court, we know how great of a player she is, but she’s such a great person. So, I wish her the best. And I’m really excited to see what

The Japanese power-hitter next faces three-times major winner Angelique Kerber of Germany, who had a first-round bye.

Coco Gauff of the United States commended Barty's decision to retire, saying it was a "savage move to walk away at number one".

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