Russian tennis star Sharapova retires


Russian tennis star Sharapova retires
FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Mubadala World Tennis Championship - Abu Dhabi International Tennis Complex, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - December 19, 2019 Russia's Maria Sharapova after her match against Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

In Summary

  • The Russian won her first Grand Slam at Wimbledon in 2004 aged 17 and completed the career slam - all four major titles - by winning the French Open in 2012
  • After returning from her ban in 2017, Sharapova struggled to recapture her best form and suffered from a number of injuries

Maria Sharapova, the Russian five-time Grand Slam champion who became one of the highest paid sportswomen in the world, announced her retirement at the age of 32 on Wednesday.

Florida-based Sharapova, whose Wimbledon victory in 2004, aged 17, propelled her to superstardom, broke the news in an article for magazine Vanity Fair.

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

Her decision is hardly a major surprise as she has struggled with injuries and poor form since returning from a 15-month drugs ban in 2017, the result of testing positive for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.

The former world number has played only two matches this year, losing in the first round of the Australian Open, with her ranking sliding to 373.

“Looking back now, I realise that tennis has been my mountain. My path has been filled with valleys and detours, but the views from its peak were incredible,” she said.

“After 28 years and five Grand Slam titles, though, I’m ready to scale another mountain, to compete on a different type of terrain.”

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