With her retirement announcement shortly before the start of the US Open, tennis player Andrea Petkovic even surprised Tatjana Maria.

“She didn’t say anything. It was a surprise,” the Wimbledon semi-finalist said after her opening loss to Greek world number three Maria Sakkari on Monday.

Petkovic, 34, will face Olympic champion Belinda Bencic of Switzerland on Tuesday as the clear underdog. It is likely to be her last match on the big tennis stage. The seven-time WTA tournament winner justified her decision to end her career by citing a lack of playing and training rhythm due to injuries.

“Everyone goes their own way, everyone has different goals – you have to accept all that,” said Maria, who is even a month older than Petkovic. But she herself is not yet thinking about the end of her career. “I really feel very good at the moment and I’m very fit. I’m trying to really enjoy it and develop every day,” said the world No. 85.

For the absent Angelique Kerber, who will miss the US Open due to her pregnancy, Maria wished “only the best”. The mother of two said, “Being a mum is the most beautiful thing in the world, so it’s something super nice for her and I think she’s mega happy about it too.”