Former world number 1 and five-time grand slam champion Maria Sharapova has announced her retirement from tennis. Sharapova has been struggling with shoulder problems lately which saw her slump to as low a rank as 373.

In an article written on Vogue magazine and vanity fair web portal, the 32-year-old, wrote: “How do you leave behind the only life you’ve ever known? How do you walk away from the courts you’ve trained on since you were a little girl, the game that you love – one which brought you untold tears and unspeakable joys – a sport where you found a family, along with fans who rallied behind you for more than 28 years?”

“I’m new to this, so please forgive me. Tennis – I’m saying goodbye,” she added.

It is worth highlighting that Sharapova won all the four grand slams between 2006 and 2012 before adding a second Wimbledon title to her cabinet in 2014. In 2016, she was tested positive for medonium and was sentenced to a two year ban, which was later reduced to 15 months from tennis.

She had reached the Number 1 ranking way back in 2005.

After the ban on her was lifted, she made a comeback in 2017. She even went on to clinch the Tianjin Open, her 36th career title and her first since 2015.

Her title wins and consistent performances post her comeback helped her return to top 30. However, injuries prevented her from participating in some of the most competitive tournaments. She then had to deal with a recurring shoulder problem which required surgery in 2019.

It is a shame that post ending calendar years 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2012 as World number 1, and being among the top five even as late as 2016, she bids farewell to the sport ranked 373rd.

Sharapova is easily one of the most recognizable female tennis stars worldwide and will continue to represent tennis and what the sport stands for long after her retirement.