Tue, 07 Apr 2020

Sharapova ends a career that was stuff of Hollywood

News24
27 Feb 2020, 04:12 GMT+10

Paris - Five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova, one of the world's most recognisable and highest-paid sportswomen, on Wednesday announced her retirement at the age of 32.

"After 28 years and five Grand Slam titles, though, I'm ready to scale another mountain - to compete on a different type of terrain."

Sharapova burst onto the scene as a supremely gifted teenager and won her Grand Slams before serving a 15-month ban for failing a drugs test at the 2016 Australian Open.

Siberia-born Sharapova first picked up a racquet at the age of four in Sochi, where her Belarus-born parents had settled after escaping the deadly clutches of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

"I believed that if I kept grinding and grinding, I could push myself to an incredible place."

In 2012, the Siberian-born Sharapova captured the French Open to become the 10th woman to complete a career Grand Slam. She added Olympic silver to her resume that year.

Always a fighter - the seven-year-old Maria and father Yuri left for the US in 1994 with just a borrowed $700 to their names - Sharapova returned to the sport in 2017.

She netted prize money alone of $38.8 million in a career during which she won 36 singles titles. Forbes, in its 2016 article, said the Florida-based Russian had banked nearly $300m from prize money, appearances and endorsements since she turned professional in 2001.

"No matter what lies ahead, I will apply the same focus, the same work ethic, and all of the lessons I've learned along the way.

WTA trailblazer and 12-time major winner Billie Jean King hailed Sharapova.

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