Formerworld No. 1 and five-time grand slam champion Maria Sharapova has announced herretirement from tennis on Wednesday.
"Howdo you leave behind the only life you've ever known? How do you walk away fromthe courts you've trained on since you were a little girl, the game that youlove – one which brought you untold tears and unspeakable joys – a sport whereyou found a family, along with fans who rallied behind you for more than 28years? I'm new to this, so please forgive me. Tennis – I'm saying goodbye,"Sharapova wrote in an emotional essay.
Shewon her Grand Slams before serving a 15-month ban for failing a drugs test atthe 2016 Australian Open. Her current ranking is 373rd.
TheRussian tennis star became world number one in 2005 but in 2007 she began herbattle with chronic shoulder problems.