Russian five -time Grand Slam champion, Maria Sharapova, has parted ways with her only career after 28 years at the age of 32.
Siberia-born Sharapova, whose Wimbledon victory over Serena Williams in 2004, aged 17, propelled her to superstardom and riches, announced she was ending her Tennis career in an article for magazine Vanity Fair.
“I’m new to this. So, please forgive me. Tennis —- I’m saying goodbye,” Sharapova, whose rags to riches story captivated the sports world but turned sour when she was banned for doping, wrote in a farewell article.
Her decision to quit is hardly a major surprise.
The US-based player who became one of the highest-paid sportswomen in the world also took to her social media to make the announcement.
“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.
“Tennis—I’m saying goodbye,” she captioned a picture of her at the beginning of her career.
She has been a pale imitation of her former self since returning in 2017 from the 15-month ban for taking prohibited heart drug meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.
The former world number one has played only two matches this year, losing in the first round of the Australian Open, with her ranking sliding to 373.