"Tennis—I’m saying goodbye."
And with these words, the most recognisable name in tennis announced her retirement.
Five-time grand slam winner Maria Sharapova has declared that she's retiring from the sport at the age of 32.
The former world No 1 also wrote an exclusive essay for Vogue and Vanity Fair
on her decision to retire.
"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?" she wrote.
She then went on to speak about her family, her relationship with the sport and her fantastic career.
Struggling with pain
In the essay, Sharapova also opens up about struggling with a shoulder injury for many years and how it affected her performance in the courts.
“I share this not to garner pity, but to paint my new reality: My body had become a distraction," she said which was in line with reports claiming that it was her long struggle with her shoulder injury that pushed her to announce her retirement.
Sharapova first made waves in the tennis scene after she beat Serena Williams and won the Wimbledon in 2004.
She was only 17 then.
Since that epic match, Sharapova's career has gone through many highs and lows.
The lows would be her constant battle with issues related to her right shoulder and dealing with a 15-month doping ban.
The highs include winning five major championships, placing no 1 in the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) ranks and being the eight highest-paid tennis player of all time.
For more on the highlights of Sharapova's amazing career, check out a compilation done (in pictures)
by the WTA.
Still looking to grow
"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," Sharapova wrote to end her essay.
All the best Ms Sharapova! We will miss you on the courts but we can't wait to see what's next for you!