Baby due for former world number one Ashleigh Barty

Retired former world number one Ashleigh Barty announced Friday she was expecting a baby, almost a year after the Australian's shock retirement from the sport.

The popular three-time Grand Slam champion stunned the tennis world in March last year by quitting aged just 25, saying she had fulfilled her dreams and was "spent physically".

She married long-time partner Garry Kissick in July with a baby now on the way.

"2023 set to be the best year yet," she wrote on Instagram alongside a picture of baby shoes and her pet dog.

"We are so excited for our new adventure. Origi (dog) already the protective big sister."

Barty is expected to be at Melbourne Park later this month, the scene of her Australian Open triumph last year, for a range of appearances.

Earlier this week, she visited the mixed teams United Cup tournament in Brisbane to greet Iga Swiatek, who took over as world number one after her retirement.

mp/dhc