Russia’s glamorous five-time Grand Slam champion hangs up racket after 19 eventful years on tour
Maria Sharapova was a transcendent star in tennis from the time she was a teenager, someone whose grit and groundstrokes earned her a career Grand Slam and whose off-court success included millions of dollars more in endorsement deals than prize money.
And yet, Sharapova walked away from her sport rather quietly on Wednesday at the age of 32, ending a career that featured five major championships, time at No 1 in the WTA rankings, a 15-month doping ban and plenty of problems with her right shoulder.
There was no goodbye tournament, no last moment in the spotlight, for someone so used to garnering so much attention for so long, with or without a racket in hand.
“Tennis-I’m saying goodbye,” Sharapova said in an essay for Vogue and Vanity Fair magazines, about her decision to retire, posted online on Wednesday.
“After 28 years and five Grand Slam titles, though, I’m ready to scale another mountain-to compete on a different type of terrain.”
In the essay, she asks: “How do you leave behind the only life you’ve ever known?”