Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova has announced her retirement from tennis effective immediately at the age of 32.
Sharapova, who won the 2004 Wimbledon Championships as a 17-year-old, comes after battling injury and form over the past two years.
She last won a major title in 2014 and was involved in controversy in 2016 when she was banned for 15 months for doping.
Sharapova broke the news in an article in Vanity Fair and wrote: “In giving my life to tennis, tennis gave me a life. I’ll miss it every day, I’ll miss the training and my daily routine.”
Russia-born Florida-resident Sharapova won all four majors, clinching the French Open twice in 2012 and 2014.
After bursting on to the scene in 2004 with her Wimbledon victory over Serena Williams, she dominated women’s tennis and rose to world number one. She was the first Russian woman to reach the number one ranking.
Overall, she held the top ranking for 21 weeks, winning the US Open in 2006 and the Australian Open in 2008.
“Looking back now, I realise that tennis has been my mountain,” Sharapova wrote.
“My path has been filled with valleys and detours, but the views from its peak were incredible,” she said.
“After 28 years and five grand slam titles, though, I’m ready to scale another mountain, to compete on a different type of terrain”
More recently Sharapova struggled, playing only two matches in 2020, including a first round defeat at the Australian Open in January.
Her ranking recently slid to 373rd in the world. She had risen back to within the top 30 in 2017 but shoulder problems held her back.