Maria Sharapova is considered one of the greatest female tennis players of all time

By Eric Todisco
February 26, 2020 09:25 AM
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Maria Sharapova is retiring from tennis at age 32.

The five-time Grand Slam champion announced the news Wednesday in a guest column for Vanity Fair.

“In giving my life to tennis, tennis gave me a life,” Sharapova wrote.

“I’ll miss it every day,” she continued. “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 Russian athlete added: “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. After 28 years and five Grand Slam titles, though, I’m ready to scale another mountain—to compete on a different type of terrain.”

Sharapova’s final match of her career came at the 2020 Australian Open, where she was defeated in the first round by Donna Vekić.

The athlete has also been plagued with numerous shoulder injuries throughout her career, and even had to get surgery in early 2019.

Maria Sharapova
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Serena Williams (left) shakes hands with Maria Sharapova after their first-round match at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, August 2019.
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Sharapova earned her first Grand Slam title in 2004 when she defeated then No. 1 seed Serena Williams in the Wimbledon final. Since then, she has won two French Open titles, one Australian Open and a U.S. Open title.

The tennis star was knocked out of the 2019 U.S. Open by Williams in the tournament’s first round in August.

“She’s such a good player,” Williams said of Sharapova after the match. “When you play her, you have to be super focused. Every time I come up against her, I bring out some of my best tennis.”

In 2016, Sharapova tested positive for banned meldonium substance at the Australian Open. She was initially banned for two years, but the ruling was reduced to 15 months following an appeal.