Maria Sharapova, the Russian five-time Grand Slam champion who became one of the highest paid sportswomen in the world, announced her retirement at the age of 32 on Wednesday.
Florida-based Sharapova, whose Wimbledon victory in 2004, aged 17, propelled her to superstardom, broke the news in an article for magazine Vanity Fair.
“I’m new to this, so please forgive me. Tennis — I’m saying goodbye,” Sharapova said.
Her decision is hardly a major surprise as she has struggled with injuries and poor form since returning from a 15-month drugs ban in 2017, the result of testing positive for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.
The former world number one has played only two matches this year, losing in the first round of the Australian Open, with her ranking sliding to 373.
“Looking back now, I realise that tennis has been my mountain. My path has been filled with valleys and detours, but the views from its peak were incredible,” she said.
“After 28 years and five Grand Slam titles, though, I’m ready to scale another mountain, to compete on a different type of terrain.”
What an incredible career!
We report that Maria Sharapova is retiring from pro tennis at age 32. Not weary of the game but tired of fighting her body. Once No. 1, she won 5 Slam singles titles & earned tens of millions on & off the court. By force of will & personality she was one of the game’s true stars pic.twitter.com/7C4KCwEsOX
— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) February 26, 2020
All good things do come to an end!
Former World No. 1️⃣@AustralianOpen 🏆@rolandgarros 🏆🏆@Wimbledon 🏆@usopen🏆 3️⃣6️⃣ singles titles We'll #MissYouMaria@MariaSharapova has announced her retirement from tennis -->https://t.co/BqE5pA9nGO pic.twitter.com/Z55MHC1t5q — WTA (@WTA) February 26, 2020
The only Grand Slam tournament where she has won more than once in singles!
🏆🏆 Our 2-time #RolandGarros champion "is saying goodbye".
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) February 26, 2020
This is all of us right now!
Petra Kvitova statement
Petra Kvitova on the news of Maria Sharapova’s retirement.
“It was pleasure to be w/ her on the tour, sharing the court w/ her. It was always great battles when we play together. So it's been always nice to share the court with her and I do always have respect to her.” #QTO2020 pic.twitter.com/3ufJT3GzPx
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) February 26, 2020
Gear up for Sharapova's second chapter!
From the day @MariaSharapova won her first #Wimbledon title at age 17, she has been a great champion. A 5x major champion and a former World No. 1, her business success is just as impressive as her tennis achievements. Maria, the best is yet to come for you! #MissYouMaria — Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) February 26, 2020
With inputs from Reuters
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Updated Date: Feb 26, 2020 20:53:52 IST