LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 16:  Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates victory with the trophy after the Gentlemen's Singles final against  Marin Cilic of Croatia on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on July 16, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Wimbledon: The original grand slam
01:40 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

Maria Sharapova retired for the first time in her grand slam career at Wimbledon but suggested she isn’t about to quit the game for good after a series of demoralizing injuries.

Sharapova stopped with a left forearm issue while trailing France’s Pauline Parmentier 6-4 6-7 (4-7) 0-5 in the first round after initially leading by a set and 5-2.

“I think the easy way would be just for me to maybe do other things because I’ve set up the opportunities for myself,” said Sharapova, who made her breakthrough by winning Wimbledon in 2004.

“This is far from easy. I’ve never taken the easy route. I’ve always worked, committed, focused. These moments are hard, but I love what I do. I still have a lot of passion for it.”

Maria Sharapova was seen by the trainer for a left forearm issue at Wimbledon on Tuesday and had to retire.

The five-time grand slam winner received treatment from the trainer but couldn’t continue a year after she also lost from holding a set and 5-2 advantage on the same court – Court 2 – against fellow Russian Vitalia Diatchenko.

READ: Federer drops set, then cruises

Visit CNN sport for more news and videos

Sharapova’s outside interests include candy company Sugarpova and she was long the richest female athlete in the world but has always spoken of her fondness for the sport and competing.

But the season has been difficult on the health front.

Sharapova underwent a surgical procedure to her right shoulder early in 2019 – a decade ago she suffered a career-threatening shoulder injury – which kept her sidelined for roughly four and a half months.

Sharapova shocked the tennis world when she announced in March she had failed a doping test at the Australian Open. She had  tested positive for meldonium, a substance she said she had been taking since 2006 but failed to notice had been added to the banned list this year.
Maria Sharapova on her return from a drugs ban
03:52 - Source: CNN

Upon her return last month, she lost to last year’s Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber in the second round in Mallorca.

One injury setback after another

Wimbledon was the second occasion in her mere five events this year that the 32-year-old was forced to quit, a thigh injury preventing her from finishing a quarterfinal against Aryna Sabalenka in Shenzhen at the start of the campaign.

The limited activity has seen her ranking slide to 80th.

She had shut down her 2018 season after the US Open to rehabilitate the shoulder and dealt with left arm and thigh problems a year earlier when making her comeback to the tour following an 18-month drug suspension.

The comeback certainly hasn’t been what she’d envisaged or hoped for although the signs were promising when she ousted defending champion Caroline Wozniacki at the Australian Open.

Candi Gauff, the mother of United States' Cori "Coco" Gauff applauds as she plays United States's Venus Williams in a Women's singles match during day one of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Monday, July 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)
Coco Gauff's mom: It felt as if her dreams were coming true
01:38 - Source: CNN

Sharapova found it difficult to strike backhands in the latter stages against the 88th-ranked Parmentier, a Frenchwoman who had lost six straight Wimbledon encounters, and said she had already had a scan on the injury.

“I’ve had a history of a tendon in my left forearm flaring up,” said Sharapova. “It happened today in the second set.

“It’s very rare that I withdraw from a match in the middle of the match. That certainly means that it’s painful.”

Parmentier will now face 30th-seed Carla Suarez Navarro in the second round.

The Spaniard was the player who ended Sharapova’s 2018 term, winning their fourth-round contest in New York.