A five-time Grand Slam Winner Legend Maria Sharapova retires at the age of 32

Sharapova entered the scene at 17 against Serena Williams in 2004 winning the Wimbledon.

Maria Sharapova was an excellent player in tennis from the times she was just a teenager, someone whose courage and strokes gained her a career Grand Slam and whose off-court achievement involved millions of dollars more in promotional deals than prize money.

And yet, Sharapova stepped away from her game in a simple way on Wednesday at the age of 32, achieving a career that highlighted five major championships, time at No. 1 in the WTA rankings, a 15-month doping ban and plenty of troubles with her right shoulder.

Sadly, there was no goodbye match, no moment for the last spotlight, for a person so used to celebrations without a racket in hand.

“I’ve been pretty good in the past, balancing my time with my sponsors with my tennis, because I know my priority. At the end of the day, what I love doing is competing, and that’s where my heart is at: on center court,” Sharapova said in an interview with the Associated Press in 2006 right before the U.S. Open then.

“There are a couple of sides of me,” she said in 2006. “There’s the Maria that’s a tennis player. There’s the Maria that is a normal girl. And there’s the Maria who’s a businesswoman. And that’s where the ‘Maria Sharapova brand’ comes into play.”

Two years after that, Sharapova missed with Flushing Meadows tournament as she needed to have surgery on her shoulder, which troubled her off and ever since, she has another surgery on the same joint in 2019.

At a few tournaments, she lost 4 matches with first-round exits in her past 3 games, including the Australian Open in January which turned out to be the last match of her whole career and made her 0-2 this season.

Powerful at the baseline, and popular for never giving up attitude, Sharapova ranked number 1 for the first time at the age of just 18 in 2005. After adding her 2nd notable trophy at the U.S. Open for the following year, she then received an Australian Open title in 2008, and then also won the French Open in 2012 and 2014.

“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,” Sharapova wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. “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.”

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