NEW DELHI: Tennis legend Maria Sharapova, who is a five-time Grand Slam champion, announced her retirement from the game on Wednesday. In a column in Vogue and Vanity Fair magazines, Sharapova owed this big decision to the recurring injuries in recent years.
Bidding farewell, the 32-year-old sports star said, "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."
However, it is not clear if the decision is with immediate effects or not. Her last game was at the 2020 Australian Open where she lost the first round to Serbia's Donna Vekic.
Explaining her decision furthermore and how her body has become a distraction, Sharapova said, "Behind closed doors, thirty minutes before taking the court, I had a procedure to numb my shoulder to get through the match. Shoulder injuries are nothing new for me - over time my tendons have frayed like a string. I've had multiple surgeries -once in 2008; another procedure last year and spent countless months in physical therapy. 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."
Maria made the headlines when she won the 2004 Wimbledon at the age of 17. Winning all four major titles after she won the 2012 French Open, Sharapova went to complete a career slam.