Former Wimbledon junior champion Laura Robson says she was not surprised to hear about the retirement of former World No. 1 Maria Sharapova and adds that tennis fans should prepare themselves for more high-profile retirements of some of the game's biggest superstars in the coming years.
Speaking to Sky Sports, 25 year old Robson commented, "It didn't really come as a surprise, most people in the tennis world felt like it was building up to this with all the injuries she has had since her comeback from the drug ban.
The way her body has just not been able to handle it - I find it unsurprising. It's quite sad at the same time to see such a great champion go out so quietly. I think [Sharapova's] impact on the women's game has been massive but also all round.
She's been such a big name in the tennis world for so long now, since she was 17. Seeing a big name go out, we are going to experience that over the next few years with so many of them as they reach their mid-30s. It's sad."
Sharapova retired at the age of 32 - Novak Djokovic is the same age, Rafael Nadal is a year older at 33, Serena Williams and Roger Federer are both 38 years old and Venus Williams is 39. Robson said she will remember the five-time champion for her grit and determination on and off the court.
"She was one of those personalities where if you got to understand her it all made sense. She always kind of stuck to herself. You have to respect the determination that she had, the fight constantly from start to finish.
I respected that and then got to know her a little bit off the court, we shared the same agent for some time, I always had really good experience with her. I think you have to remember her as someone who fought in every match that she was a part of.
Someone with grit and determination and perseverance to comeback from so many injuries. When you think about it, she has had a very, very long career because she started when she was 17. I would like her to be remembered as someone who is a massive part of the game and someone who transcended the sport."
Speaking about her own career, Robson, who underwent a second hip surgery in December, says she remains hopeful of a comeback. "I think it's going well, it's hard to tell. I'm seeing my surgeon again in a couple of weeks for an update but so far it has gone pretty well. I'm not getting so much pain day-to-day, which is the main thing."