Grand Slam champion Garbiñe Muguruza retires at 30 ahead of Laureus Awards. GETTY IMAGES

Spain's two-time Grand Slam tennis champion and former world number one Garbiñe Muguruza has announced her retirement from the sport, bringing the curtain down on an illustrious career.

The 30-year-old, who had originally planned to retire from competitive tennis in 2023, officially called time on her competitive career ahead of the Laureus World Sports Awards in Madrid on Monday 22 April. She revealed that her future will include a role as a Laureus Ambassador. The Venezuela-born star Muguruza announced her decision at a press conference following a visit to the Fundación A LA PAR, a sports programme based in Madrid. 

Muguruza turned professional in 2012 and won her first major title in 2016, defeating Serena Williams in the final of the French Open. In 2017, she beat Venus Williams to claim the Wimbledon title and become world number one. She reached the final of the Australian Open in 2020 and won the season-ending WTA Finals Championship the following year. 

A galaxy of sports stars, past and present, will attend the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards on Monday. The Laureus statuettes have become greatly coveted and are decided by sportspeople themselves - the 69-member Laureus World Sports Academy, made up of all-time sporting greats. 

Nominees in categories including Sportsman and Woman of the Year, Comeback of the Year, Team of the Year and Breakthrough of the Year will attend the show which will be broadcast worldwide. As well as honouring the greatest competitors of the past calendar year, unique Laureus interactions between athletes will light up social channels across the sporting world, according to the Laureus World Sports Academy.

Muguruza announced her retirement from professional tennis ahead of the Laureus World Sport Awards. GETTY IMAGES
Muguruza announced her retirement from professional tennis ahead of the Laureus World Sport Awards. GETTY IMAGES

As part of this celebration of sport in the Spanish capital, Muguruza joined Laureus Academy members Michael Johnson and Alessandro Del Piero, Laureus Action Sportsperson of the Year nominee Filipe Toledo and Spanish motor racing driver Carmen Jorda on a visit to Fundación A LA PAR, a programme that uses the power of sport to transform the lives and prospects of athletes with intellectual disabilities. 

A LA PAR promotes equality, inclusion and life skills for children and young adults in Madrid. In her new role as a Laureus Ambassador, Muguruza is now looking forward to using her platform to help young people through sport. 

Reflecting on her retirement from tennis and her new role as a Laureus Ambassador, Muguruza said: "If 25 years ago, when I first started hitting tennis balls, someone had told me that I would become a professional tennis player, that I would fulfil my dream of winning Roland Garros and Wimbledon, that I would become the world number one and win the WTA Finals... I would have thought that person was crazy. 

"Tennis has given me a lot in this first part of my life. It has been a fantastic journey where I have experienced unique situations. I have travelled all over the world and experienced many different cultures. I am very grateful to all the people who have helped and guided me through this chapter because without them I would not have been able to get here." 

Garbiñe, with Roger Federer as the 2017 Wimbledon singles champions. GETTY IMAGES
Garbiñe, with Roger Federer as the 2017 Wimbledon singles champions. GETTY IMAGES

She concluded, "I have grown and matured in a very different way than what can be considered normal, and now I am ready to start a new chapter in my life that will surely involve tennis and sports in some way. I hope that my involvement with Laureus Sport for Good is the start of many more projects where I can get involved and help young people through sport." 

Muguruza was welcomed into the Laureus Movement by Martina Navratilova, winner of 18 Grand Slam singles titles and a member of the Laureus World Sports Academy.

Navratilova said, "It is a difficult decision for any athlete to stop competing for good, but Garbiñe has had a career most players can only dream of - multiple Slam champion, world number one, two-time Olympian - and I'm delighted that she has chosen to work with Laureus to use her position and profile to make a difference through sport for good.

"I have followed her career closely and even when she was at the top of her game, she always focused on how she could help and inspire young people. That is exactly what we are doing with Laureus - and we will be stronger for having Garbiñe on our team."