Follow former World No.1 Maria Sharapova's announcement that the five-time Grand Slam champion will be retiring from tennis effective immediately, WTA Chairman and CEO Steve Simon released an official statement:

“I congratulate Maria on her outstanding career in professional tennis. Her achievements of a career Grand Slam, winner of 36 WTA titles and reaching the coveted No.1 ranking reflect her deep dedication and passion for the game. She will be greatly missed by her millions of fans around the world, but I know this will also mark an exciting new beginning for Maria as she now focuses on her many business ventures, charitable activities and other outside interests. I look forward to following her successes in the years to come as she steps away as a true champion of our sport.”

IN PICTURES: The best of Sharapova's champion career

The tennis world reacted to the news on social media, led by WTA Founder Billie Jean King:

2020 Brisbane Behind the Scenes: Maria Sharapova practices and signs autographs for fans