Former No. 1 Maria Sharapova has announced her retirement from the sport of tennis. The 32-year-old has been plagued by continued injury issues and poor play.
Writing for Vogue and Vanity Fair, Sharapova made the announcement:
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.
In giving my life to tennis, tennis gave me a life. I’ll miss it everyday. 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.
No matter what lies ahead, I will apply the same focus, the same work ethic, and all of the lessons I’ve learned along the way.
In the meantime, there are a few simple things I’m really looking forward to: A sense of stillness with my family. Lingering over a morning cup of coffee. Unexpected weekend getaways. Workouts of my choice (hello, dance class!).
Tennis showed me the world—and it showed me what I was made of. It’s how I tested myself and how I measured my growth. And so in whatever I might choose for my next chapter, my next mountain, I’ll still be pushing. I’ll still be climbing. I’ll still be growing.
The Russian hasn’t won a tour match since Cincinnati in August, losing her last four including an opening round exit at the Australian Open.
Sharapova announced nearly four years ago that she had failed a doping ban. After serving a shortened 15-month ban, she returned to the sport a in April of 2017 but never made it back into the Top 20, peaking at No. 21.
Sharapova won five Grand Slam titles in 10 finals (including the Career Slam), most recently winning the 2014 French Open. She amassed 36 career titles with her final trophy at 2017 Tianjin and held the No. 1 ranking for 21 weeks.
Tennis showed me the world—and it showed me what I was made of. It’s how I tested myself and how I measured my growth. And so in whatever I might choose for my next chapter, my next mountain, I’ll still be pushing. I’ll still be climbing. I’ll still be growing. pic.twitter.com/kkOiJmXuln
— Maria Sharapova (@MariaSharapova) February 26, 2020
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