Maria Sharapova has announced that she is retiring from tennis with immediate effect.
The 32-year-old Russian enjoyed a glittering career that saw her complete a career Grand Slam, win 36 WTA titles, and spend 21 weeks as WTA World No.1.
Her first major success arrived as a 17-year-old at Wimbledon in 2004 and was followed by the US Open title two years after that. Another two years on, in 2008, she triumphed at the Australian Open before a pair of French Open victories arrived in 2012 and 2014.
Additionally, she won the 2004 WTA Tour Championships, the 2008 Fed Cup and a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics.
After a succession of shoulder injuries, which saw her undergo multiple surgeries, the latest of which was in 2019, she has announced her intention to quit the sport in a heartfelt essay for Vogue and Vanity Fair that outlines her love of the game as well as the toll successive shoulder problems have had on her ability to compete at the top.
“Tennis—I’m saying goodbye,” she wrote.
“In giving my life to tennis, tennis gave me a life. 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.
“Looking back now, I realize that tennis has been my mountain. My path has been filled with valleys and detours, but the views from its peak were incredible. After 28 years and five Grand Slam titles, though, I’m ready to scale another mountain—to compete on a different type of terrain.”
While Sharapova has not revealed her immediate plans, she has outlined the pleasures that she is eager to enjoy.
“There are a few simple things I’m really looking forward to: A sense of stillness with my family. Lingering over a morning cup of coffee. Unexpected weekend getaways. Workouts of my choice (hello, dance class!),” she said.
“Tennis showed me the world—and it showed me what I was made of. It’s how I tested myself and how I measured my growth. And so in whatever I might choose for my next chapter, my next mountain, I’ll still be pushing. I’ll still be climbing. I’ll still be growing.”