Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova announced her decision to retire from tennis on Wednesday.
Sharapova wrote an emotional essay on VanityFair.com and Vogue.com to explain everything.
“How do you leave behind the only life you’ve ever known?,” she wrote. “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.”
She won five Grand Slam titles, including Wimbledon in 2004 at 17 years, 76 days old (third-youngest female winner in tournament history). The 32-year old dealt with a shoulder injury for most of last year and in that season she reached just one quarterfinal. A former No. 1 tennis player, she ended 2019 ranked No. 145 after losing matches to Jennifer Brady in Brisbane and Donna Vekic at the Australian Open before her retirement. She is currently No. 373 in the world.
“In giving my life to tennis, tennis gave me a life,” Sharapova also wrote. “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.”
Maria Sharapova won a total of 36 singles career titles, 645 singles matches and $38.8 million in career prize money (3rd-most in WTA history behind Serena Williams and Venus Williams).