Russian Maria Sharapova, 32, announced on Wednesday that she will retire from tennis competitions after a career in which she topped the professional classification and won five titles in the major tournaments, in an article published in the magazines “Vogue” and “Vanity Fair.”
“How do you leave behind a life that you did not know others? How do you move away from the stadiums that you have been trained in since you were a child, the game you love, that has caused you untold tears and joys, a sport in which you have found a family and fans who stood behind you for over 28 years? This is new for me, so excuse me, tennis, bye.,”
“Tennis was a mountain for me. On my way, I faced valleys and turns, but the scenes from the summit were amazing. After 28 years and five titles in the Grand Slam, I am ready to climb another mountain, to compete on a different ground.”
“I gave my life to tennis, and tennis gave me life. I will miss it every day. I will miss the exercise and my daily schedule: wake up at dawn, tie the tape of my left foot before the right, and close the stadium gate before I hit the first ball in the day. I will miss my team, to my coach (…) The handshakes after winning or losing, and all the athletes, whether I knew them, who pushed me to give my best. ”
Sharapova crowned five great titles, starting with her first coronation at the 2004 Wimbledon English Championship as a seventeen-year-old teenager, after which she added US Flushing Meadows (2006), Australian Open (2008), and French Roland Garros twice in 2012 and 2014.
But her career halted in 2016, after a positive doping test on the sidelines of the Australian Championship, which led to her stopping 15 months.
After returning to the stadiums, Sharapova has not yet recovered to her usual level, and she is now down to 373 in the professional women’s player ranking.
Russia, which is still one of the most prominent faces in the game world, has been absent for long periods from the yellow ball season last year for chronic shoulder pain. This reflected negatively on its results, as it emerged from the first round in the last three major tournaments in which it took part in Wimbledon and Flushing Meadows 2019, and the Australian Open last January.