Five-time grand slam winner Maria Sharapova retires from tennis

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 21: Maria Sharapova of Russia looks on during her Women’s Singles first round match against Donna Vekic of Croatia on day two of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 21, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

(CNN) — Five-time grand slam winner Maria Sharapova has announced her retirement from tennis in a column she has written for Vogue and Vanity Fair.

The Russian retires at the age of 32 having last won a grand slam in 2014 when she clinched the French Open for the second time.

Her last appearance came at the 2020 Australian Open, where she was knocked out in the first round by Donna Vekić.

In her article, Sharapova said she was “saying goodbye” to tennis.

“In giving my life to tennis, tennis gave me a life,” Sharapova wrote.

“I’ll miss it everyday. I’ll miss the training and my daily routine: Waking up at dawn, lacing my left shoe before my right, and closing the court’s gate before I hit my first ball of the day. I’ll miss my team, my coaches. I’ll miss the moments sitting with my father on the practice court bench. The handshakes—win or lose—and the athletes, whether they knew it or not, who pushed me to be my best.”

Sharapova burst onto the tennis scene as a 17-year-old in 2004 when she beat No.1 seed Serena Williams in the final of Wimbledon to claim her first grand slam.

She rose to the summit of the world rankings for the first time in 2005 and alongside her Wimbledon title, has won two French Open titles, one Australian Open, and a US Open title.

The US-based star also lost to long-time rival Serena Williams in three other grand slam finals.

In 2016, she tested positive for banned substance meldonium at the Australian Open. She was initially banned for two years, before the ban was reduced to 15 months after an appeal. Returning to action in April the following year, she has since been unable to hit the heights from the start of her career.

Sharapova has also has collected more than $38 million in prize money in her career, according to Business Insider.

“Looking back now, I realize that tennis has been my mountain,” she said. “My path has been filled with valleys and detours, but the views from its peak were incredible.

“After 28 years and five Grand Slam titles, though, I’m ready to scale another mountain—to compete on a different type of terrain.”

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