"How do you walk away from the courts you’ve trained on since you were a little girl, the game that you love—one which brought you untold tears and unspeakable joys — a sport where you found a family, along with fans who rallied behind you for more than 28 years?
I’m new to this, so please forgive me. Tennis — I’m saying goodbye.
"In giving my life to tennis, tennis gave me a life. I’ll miss it every day."
Steve Simon, CEO of the Women’s Tennis Association, told the New York Times: "Maria is very smart, very savvy, very professional, probably the ultimate professional.
"She’ll be remembered very well for what she brought to the game and I think everybody thinks of her as the ultimate competitor."
Sharapova clinched a career Grand Slam when she triumphed at Roland-Garros in 2012 and became one of only 10 women to have achieved the feat.
The Russian won Wimbledon in 2004, the US Open in 2006 and the Australian Open two years later. She then secured two Roland-Garros crowns in 2012 and 2014.
She has struggled with injuries and poor form since returning from a 15-month drugs ban in 2017, the result of testing positive for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.
Sharapova's career was an illustrious one. She is one of only six players in the Open era to win a career Grand Slam in women's singles and Serena Williams is now the only active player from that star-studded group.
To win all four Grand Slams - and Roland-Garros on two occasions - was a truly remarkable feat, particularly given that it was during an era of dominance from Serena.
Sharapova boasted 36 titles to her name and became world number one at the age of just 18 as she exploded on the tennis scene.
The Russian's career will always be somewhat blemished due to the 15-month ban she received in 2017 as a result of testing positive for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open, but her achievements prior to that remain remarkable.
It is no surprise that she has now announced her retirement given her ranking had dropped to 373 in the world and having played only two matches this year, but there is no doubt that a very big name in the women's game has now exited the scene.