“Tennis – I am saying goodbye’: Former World No.1 Maria Sharapova bids farewell to professional tennis.

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Maria Sharapova bids farewell to Tennis

Former World no. 1 and five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Yuryevna Sharapova has announced her retirement from professional tennis.

Maria Sharapova bids farewell to Tennis

“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,” the Russian tennis star wrote in American fashion magazine Vogue and Vanity Fair.

Sharapova who became an overnight star when she was crowned Wimbledon champion at the age of 17 in 2004 remains the second youngest to win the women’s singles title at Wimbledon behind Martina Hingis in the Open era.

She became world number one in 2005 and won the US Open the next year. The Russian went on to win the US Open crown in 2006 and Australian Open title in 2008. Her twin triumphs at the clay courts of Roland Garros at the French Open in 2012 and 2014 were are considered to be her biggest achievements as they came at a time when her bitter rival Serena Williams was the at the peak of her domination of women’s tennis.

The 32 year old tennis star faced lots of fitness troubles and injuries before the controversial announcement of her positive test for the banned heart drug meldonium,but returned to the sport in 2017.

In her emotional essay, Sharapova went on to describe the initial years when she moved from Russia to USA to further her career. “When I was six, I travelled across the globe to Florida with my father. The whole world seemed gigantic back then. The airplane, the airport, the wide expanse of America: Everything was enormous—as was my parents’ sacrifice.

“When I first started playing, the girls on the other side of the net were always older, taller, and stronger; the tennis greats I watched on TV seemed untouchable and out of reach. But little by little, with every day of practice on the court, this almost mythical world became more and more real,” Sharapova wrote.

She ended the essay by saying that it was the sport of tennis that showed her the world.

Serena Williams was a major tennis rival for Sharapova

Sharapova has an Olympic silver medal to her name, which she won at the 2012 London Games, losing the final of the women’s singles to Serena Williams.

Maria Sharapova lost several key matches in her career to Serena Williams, who became a major tennis rival for her having a rather lopsided head to head record of 2 wins and 20 losses against the American tennis legend.

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