Tennis

Maria Sharapova announces retirement from tennis

The former world number one, who won five Grand Slam singles titles and completed the career slam, has stepped away from tennis at the age of 32.

Maria Sharapova posa con el trofeo Suzanne Lenglen como campeona de Roland Garros 2014.
KENZO TRIBOUILLARD AFP

Maria Sharapova has announced her retirement from the WTA Tour with immediate effect. The Russian former world number one and five-times Grand Slam winner published a letter in Vanity Fair to confirm that she would be stepping away from the circuit having last competed at the Australian Open in January, where she was beaten in the first round by Donna Vekic.

Sharapova completed the career slam in 2012 when she won the first of her two Roland Garros titles having exploded onto the tennis scene in 2004 when she swept to the Wimbledon crown aged just 17, defeating world number one and defending champion Serena Williams in the final.

Sharapova calling it a day after 28 years

The Russian, 32, is currently ranked 373 after struggling to mainatin her form after a ban imposed in 2016 for using the prohibited substance meldonium and despite a few flashes of her former power – including knocking out defending champion Caroline Wozniacki in the third round of the 2019 Australian Open, beating second seed Simona Halep on her Grand Slam comeback at Flushing Meadows and winning the Tianjin Open in 2017 – a persistent shoulder injury and the ravages of a 28-year career in the sport have seen her call time on the courts.

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,” Sharapova’s missive in Vanity Fair began.

The former world number one, who spent 21 weeks in total at the summit of the WTA Tour, won Wimbledon in 2004, the US Open in 2006, the Australian Open in 2008 and the French Open in 2012 and 2014 and claimed 36 career singles titles with a win-loss singles record of 645-171.