One of the most popular tennis players, Maria Sharapova, 32, announced her retirement from professional tennis on 26th February owing to a shoulder injury. Unfortunately, this brought to an abrupt end one of the most illustrious careers in women’s tennis history.
Here are some fascinating facts about this inspiring tennis player, who started her career at the ripe age of 4.
Life of Maria Sharapova..
Born on 19th April 1987, Maria Sharapova started learning tennis from her father when she was merely 4. In 1993, she was spotted by veteran tennis player Martina Navratilova at a training camp, who then recommended her to train with renowned tennis coach from America, Nick Bollettieri in Florida. As a result, Sharapova and her father moved to the United States in 1994.
Sharapova made her professional debut when she was 14 at the WTA tournament at the Pacific Life Open in 2002. In 2003, she was awarded the WTA Newcomer of the Year.
In the course of her decades-long career, she went from being a teenage sensation to becoming the world number one in the women’s tennis circuit. She won a total of 36 WTA titles, which included five Grand Slam tournaments: she is only one of the ten women to have won all the four Grand Slams.
She won her first Grand Slam in 2004, when she defeated the defending champion Serena Williams at the Wimbledon. In doing so, she became the third youngest to win the prestigious Grand Slam.
In 2012, she won her first French Open title. In the same year, she also won a silver medal at the London Olympics.
Unfortunately, her career came to a standstill when she revealed that she failed a drug test in 2016, testing positive for meldonium, a substance which was prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Subsequently, the International Tennis Federation banned her from playing tennis for a period of two years.
Since then, she has struggled with her form and her rankings have steeply declined.
Sharapova is also an entrepreneur and the owner of Sugarpova, a premium candy line, through which Sharapova offers candies to her fans in her own signature style.
She announced her retirement on social media with a touching post.
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. pic.twitter.com/kkOiJmXuln
— Maria Sharapova (@MariaSharapova) February 26, 2020
Post her announcement, multiple tennis players including Novak Djokovic and Petra Kvitova posted messages for her.
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) February 27, 2020
With her retirement, a great era in women’s tennis comes to an end. We wish this tennis icon the best for all her future endeavours!0