Five-time Grand-Slam winner, 32-year-old Russian female tennis player Maria Sharapova announced her retirement from tennis on Wednesday.
"I'm new to this, so please forgive me. Tennis – I'm saying goodbye," wrote Sharapova in an essay for Vanity Fair and Vogue.
Having started her career at 17, Sharapova has won a total of 32 titles in her career. With five Grand Slam singles championships – Wimbledon (2004), U.S. Open (2006), Australian Open (2008) and French Open (2012, 2014) – under her name, Sharapova ranked World No. 1 for five times and in total 21 weeks.
By contrast, her current ranking is No. 373.
In 2016, Sharapova failed a drug test from the Australian Open. She received a 15-month ban as punishment. The ban, plus the decade-old shoulder problem led to a disastrous decline of her from and career. Last season, Sharapova played 15 matches with an 8-7 record.
The past Australian Open became the last contest she attended. In the first round, Sharapova was defeated by Donna Vekic 2-0. When asked if that will be her last match, the Russian repeated "I don't know." In less than one month, she made the move.
"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," wrote Sharapova in Vanity Fair.
Outside the tennis court, Sharapova is also into business. In 2012, she created her own candy brand "Sugarpova" which is sold in 22 countries and regions all over the world. In 2016, she attended a summer program at Harvard Business School. Moreover, for years, Sharapova has been a favorite of many fashion magazines.
"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."