Maria Sharapova Retires From Professional Tennis


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Maria Sharapova has retired from professional tennis after 28 years.

Shivani R., Writer

Five-time Grand Slam tennis champion Maria Sharapova announced her retirement yesterday, after playing tennis for 28 years.

“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,” wrote Sharapova for the Vanity Fair

 Sharapova held the No. 1 title for Women’s Tennis Ranking in 2005. She began playing professional tennis when she was only fourteen years old. She won her first Grand-Slam in 2004, after defeating Serena Williams at the age of 17. 

According to Fox News, “In more than 800 matches, she finished with a 645-171 record, 36 WTA titles and four ITF titles.”

Sharapova’s retirement isn’t much of a surprise considering how rusty she has been after a recent ban. Meldonium, which helps with heart issues and increases the body’s oxygen capacity, was banned from the International Tennis Federation on January 1, 2016. 

“Meldonium was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency list of banned substances because of evidence of its use by athletes with the intention of enhancing performance,” said Wikipedia

Sharapova tested positive for Meldonium during the 2016 Australian Open and was banned from the ITF for fifteen months. 

Since coming back to the courts in 2017, Sharapova has not won another title, “She had not advanced past the quarterfinals since Wimbledon in 2015,” said USA Today

A primary reason for her retirement is her right shoulder. She has had two surgeries, one in 2008 and another in 2019, in an effort to correct a rotator cuff tear. After months of physical therapy, she returned in hopes of retaining her prior success, but came to the realization that she wasn’t the player she was before.

“Just stepping onto the court that day felt like a final victory, when of course it should have been merely the first step toward victory. I share this not to garner pity, but to paint my new reality: My body had become a distraction,” Sharapova says. 

While Sharapova has left the game, she hopes to accomplish more. At 32, she looks forward to many other things, aside from tennis achievements. 


“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,” said Maria Sharapova