Just weeks away from her 26th birthday and Ashleigh Barty has called time out on her sterling tennis career. The women’s world No 1 and reigning Australian Open and Wimbledon champion shocked the sporting world on Wednesday when she announced her retirement. But in doing so she joins an elite club of sporting superstars who retired at their peak. Martina Hingis In 1997 Martina Hingis became the youngest grand slam singles winner of the modern era when she won the Australian Open aged just 16. Later that year she became the youngest world No 1 in history. Wimbledon and US Open triumphs followed in the same whirlwind year, but a French Open final defeat cost her a calendar grand slam of all four majors. Hingis spent a remarkable 209 weeks at the top of women’s tennis. But recurring injuries saw her retire from the game at just 22 years old. She did so with an impressive five grand slam singles crowns to her name. Hingis returned as a doubles player in 2006, and went on to win another 10 grand slam titles, she never reached another singles final. Bjorn Borg Bjorn Borg was a dominant force in the men’s game for much of the late 1970s and early ‘80s, winning the French Open six times as well as five successive Wimbledon crowns. But in January 1983, at the ripe old age of 26, Borg announced he was stepping away from tennis for good. Many attributed this to burnout. He did attempt a comeback from 1991 to 1993, but the Swede was never able to get back to his dominant form. Michael Jordan It was October 1993 when news quickly spread that basketball star Michael Jordan was retiring at the age of 30 and at the peak of his storied career. His retirement followed a tumultuous year, which included the tragic death of his father and an exhaustive Olympics run with the Dream Team in 1992. Jordon shocked the sports world when he signed on to play minor league baseball with the Chicago White Sox. But the biggest shock was yet to come. In March 1995, Jordan declared “I’m back” in a press release, returning the next day to score 19 points against Indiana and cement his legacy as one of the all-time greats. Magic Johnson Magic’s announcement in 1991 that he had been diagnosed with HIV blindsided the sports world and forced him into early retirement. But Johnson’s post-playing career has been just as successful as his on-court career. He has become an advocate for HIV awareness, a businessman, co-owner of an MLB team and a Lakers executive. Khabib Nurmagomedov This one might come as a bit of a shock to some outside the world of combat sports, but UFC star Khabib Nurmagomedov is widely considered one of the best MMA fighters ever. In March 2021 UFC boss Dana White confirmed the UFC lightweight champion had officially retired with an undefeated record of 29 wins and no losses. Like Jordan, family was a big part of his decision and came just months after the death of his father, Abdulmanap, a much-loved figure in the world of MMA. The 32-year-old Khabib had never been defeated, and no one really came close to posing a threat, but “The Eagle” said he could no longer continue fighting without his father.