After a first round exit at the BNP Paribas Open, five-time Grand Slam champion and former World No.1 Maria Sharapova and longtime coach Sven Groeneveld announced their decision to mutually part ways on Friday.

"After four successful and challenging years of collaboration together, I would like to thank Sven for his incredible loyalty, work ethic and most importantly the friendship that we have formed that will go beyond this working partnership," a statement on Sharapova's website read.

"Although we have mutually agreed to part ways during this time, I have been incredibly fortunate to have a team leader like him in my corner for the past four years."

The Russian and former ATP professional Groeneveld starting working together officially ahead of the 2014 season,  and won seven titles together, including the 2014 French Open. 

The Dutchman also released a statement on Sharapova's website: “Maria has been one of the most hardworking and professional players I have ever worked with. Her strength and fighting spirit will continue to be a force to reckon with and I have the deepest respect for her as a player and person.”

Groeneveld had previously worked with several WTA stars, including Monica Seles, Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, Mary Pierce, Ana Ivanovic and Caroline Wozniacki as well as the Adidas player development program.