Five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova announced her retirement from tennis at the age of 32 on Wednesday. Sharapova broke into the limelight and took the tennis world by storm when she defeated No.1 seed, Serena Williams, as a 17-year-old unheralded teenager. In 2004, the Russian conquered the All England Club’s hallowed grass courts to lift the prestigious Wimbledon trophy. Also Read - Australian Open 2021: Novak Djokovic Beats Daniil Medvedev For Record-Extending Ninth Title at Melbourne Park, Wins 18th Grand Slams Title Overall
In an exclusive column for Vogue and Vanity Fair magazines, Sharapova shared the news of her retirement with her fans. Her last professional appearance came at the Australian Open 2020 where she lost in the first round to Donna Vekic. Also Read - Australian Open 2021 HIGHLIGHTS FINAL 2021 Novak Djokovic vs Daniil Medvedev Live Updates: Djokovic Beats Medvedev in Straight Sets to Win 9th Australian Open Title
“In giving my life to tennis, tennis gave me a life,” Sharapova wrote. Also Read - Australian Open 2021: Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams Advance Into Third Round; Former Champion Stan Wawrinka, Bianca Andreescu Suffer Losses
“I’ll miss it every day. I’ll miss the training and my daily routine: Waking up at dawn, lacing my left shoe before my right, and closing the court’s gate before I hit my first ball of the day. I’ll miss my team, my coaches. I’ll miss the moments sitting with my father on the practice court bench. The handshakes—win or lose—and the athletes, whether they knew it or not, who pushed me to be my best.”
Sharapova has hardly played in the past year because of long-standing shoulder problems. When she did play she lost as many matches as she won and was dumped out in the first rounds at Wimbledon, the US Open and, most recently, in Melbourne Park.
Rated highly for her skills and powerful baseline game, Sharapova burst onto the scene as a supremely talented youngster. After a sensational show in 2004, Sharapova rose to the pinnacle of the world rankings for the first time in 2005. She also became the first Russian female player to ascend to the top of the WTA Rankings.
Alongside her Wimbledon title, Florida-based Sharapova boasts of an impressive CV which includes two French Open titles, one Australian Open, and a US Open title. She had also won a Silver at the 2012 London Olympics.
In 2016, Sharapova faced an all-time low when she was tested positive for banned substance Meldonium at the Australian Open.
After being banned for two years, Sharapova’s ban was reduced to 15 months after an appeal. Returning to action in April the following year, she has since been unable to hit the heights from the start of her career.
“One of the keys to my success was that I never looked back and I never looked forward,” Sharapova said on Wednesday.
“I believed that if I kept grinding and grinding, I could push myself to an incredible place.”
“Looking back now, I realize that tennis has been my mountain. My path has been filled with valleys and detours, but the views from its peak were incredible.”
The former world No 1 has lately struggled with chronic shoulder problems and has slumped to 373 in the WTA rankings.