World number one Justine Henin announced she was retiring from professional tennis with immediate effect on Wednesday.
"It’s the end of a wonderful adventure but it’s something I have been thinking about for a long time," the Belgian told a news conference.
Henin, the winner of seven grand slam titles had been expected to defend her French Open crown later this month but instead opted to turn her back on the sport at the age of just 25.
"I am leaving as the world number one and that is important and it is always better to go out at the top," said Henin, who won 41 titles since turning professional in 1999.
"I have been driving my career based on an emotion but I didn’t feel that emotion anymore since (last year’s season-ending championships in) Madrid.
"At Madrid I felt I had reached the climax of my career. I had thought about taking a break, but in the end I didn’t think this was the right decision."
"I decided on returning from (last week’s tournament in) Berlin to stop now.
"I leave without any regrets and I know it is the right decision."