Five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova announces her retirement from tennis in an emotional essay at Vanity Fair – three years after the return of a drug ban
- Maria Sharapova has confirmed that she will stop playing tennis at the age of 32
- The five-fold Grand Slam winner wrote an emotional essay in the Vanity Fair
- In it, Sharapova reveals her “body has become a distraction” because of her injuries
- The decision to retire comes three years after her return after a drug ban
Maria Sharapova has given up the unequal fight against injuries and announced that she will have finished tennis at the age of 32 in an emotional open letter at Vanity Fair.
After a career with five Grand Slam titles, hundreds of millions of income and a reputation that was seriously compromised, she revealed her retirement through the pages of the magazine.
She will be remembered for her big wins, her relentless baseline getting delivered with a pervasive cry and the failure of a drug test at the Australian Open 2016.
Maria Sharapova announced her 32-year retirement on Wednesday
Five-time Grand Slam winner Sharapova celebrates winning Wimbledon back in 2004 at the age of 17
The 32-year-old revealed that her “body has become a distraction” with injuries that hamper her play
The 32-year-old Russian said: “I’m new to this, so please forgive me. Tennis – I say goodbye. “
‘I do not share this to gain pity, but to paint my new reality: my body had become a distraction.
“Throughout my career, is it worth it? Was never a question – it always was in the end. ”
The Russian falls to her knees after winning her first Grand Slam title ever in Wimbledon
Sharapova (pictured at a Vera Wang fashion show earlier this month) was known as aloof in the dressing room with rival players and received little sympathy for her drug ban
She burst into prominence by winning the 2004 Wimbledon final as a 17-year-old against Serena Williams, who was supposed to be a bitter rival, although the American ended up with a crushing superior head-to-head record in their encounters.
The Russian, who was brought to Florida by her father as a child to hone her tennis game, made the most of herself and even turned herself into a French Open champion, although she was not natural on the clay courts.
Glad to admit that she saw her colleagues as competitors instead of friends, she became known for her distant attitude in the dressing room.
There was therefore little sympathy from fellow players when she tested positive for the new banned Meldonium after reaching the quarterfinals in Melbourne four years ago.
She would be banned for 15 months and the record will show that she would never have been the same player without the help of the banned substance, which was unable to reach the top 20 after her return in April 2017.
Sharapova speaks out at a press conference after having tested positive for meldonium in 2016
Her last game at a Grand Slam came in a straight sets defeat to Donna Vekic in Australia
Repeated shoulder problems, a long-standing problem, were among the injuries that plague her, and with a falling ranking she decided to call it a day.
Her last appearance in a Grand Slam saw her exit in the first round of the Australian Open, a loss against Donna Vekic, and that caused her ranking to drop to 373 in the world.
And for the former world No. 1, her ongoing shoulder injuries and difficulty in going deep into major tournaments have prompted her to spend time on her tennis career.