‘Tennis – I’m saying goodbye’: Maria Sharapova retires at 32

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Maria Sharapova on Wednesday announced her retirement from tennis. (REUTERS/File Photo)

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Shared News| February 26, 2020 7:29:33 pm
Five-times Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova on Wednesday announced her retirement from tennis. The former world No 1 has been struggling for form, mainly due to her shoulder injury and it also led to a massive dip in her rankings.

The Russian took part in just two matches in this season and lost both of them.

In an emotional essay on vanityfair.com, Sharapova, 32, wrote: “How do you leave behind the only life you’ve ever known? How do you walk away from the courts you’ve trained on since you were a little girl, the game that you love – one which brought you untold tears and unspeakable joys – a sport where you found a family, along with fans who rallied behind you for more than 28 years?”

“I’m new to this, so please forgive me. Tennis – I’m saying goodbye.”

She burst onto the tennis scene at the age of 17, winning the Wimbledon in 2004 and continued to complete a career Grand Slam with two titles at the French Open and one each at the US Open and Australian Open.

The Russian, who moved to Florida as a child, served a 15-month ban after failing a doping test in 2016. Since that suspension, Sharapova managed to reach only one major quarterfinal.

Despite so much success both on and off the tennis court, Sharapova leaves the arena after enduring four consecutive defeats at the Grand Slam tournaments.

The latest defeat came at the Australian Open last month, where she was beaten 6-3, 6-4 by Donna Vekic, which sent her ranking tumbling outside of the top 350. She was in the 373rd position this week and has not featured in a tennis match since her last appearance at Melbourne Park.