Former World No. 1 and five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova has announced that she is retiring from tennis at the age of 32 after struggling with injuries over the past year. The Russian made the announcement in a column published in the Vanity Fair and Vogue magazines.
Sharapova burst onto the scene when she won Wimbledon at 17 in 2004 beating Serena Williams - the first of her five Grand Slams. She also won two French Open titles, one US Open and an Australian Open and a silver at the 2012 Olympics, besides winning as many as 36 WTA titles.
Her final appearance came at the 2020 Australian Open, where she was knocked out by Donna Vekić in the first round. In the column, Sharapova writes, "I’ve never really felt compelled to speak about work, or effort, or grit—every athlete understands the unspoken sacrifices they must make to succeed.
But as I embark on my next chapter, I want anyone who dreams of excelling in anything to know that doubt and judgment are inevitable: You will fail hundreds of times, and the world will watch you. Accept it. Trust yourself. I promise that you will prevail.
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.
She also says that she is looking forward to the next chapter in her life. "In the meantime, 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!). 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." It is likely that Sharapova will continue to remain in the limelight even after her retirement - she already has a business of candies called 'Sugarpova' and was recently seen at the Oscars party.
She will also appear on an upcoming episode of Shark Tank as a Guest Shark - an indication that she will continue to work with new businesses.