Sharapova announces end of tennis career
Five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova is “saying goodbye” to tennis at the age of 32.
The Russian, who is one of the most recognisable figures in the sport, announced her decision in an exclusive essay for Vogue and Vanity Fair.
Sharapova burst onto the scene as a teenager, shocking the world when she beat Serena Williams in the 2004 Wimbledon final to claim her first Grand Slam title age 17.
She won the US Open in 2006 and the Australian Open in 2008 to further her standing in the sport.
Then, she completed the career Grand Slam in 2012 after triumphing at the French Open and won at Roland Garros for a second time in 2014.
As well as enjoying plenty of success on court, Sharapova is also notable for having served a 15-month ban for a failing drugs test at the 2016 Australian Open.
In recent seasons, she has suffered from injury problems and has tumbled down the rankings in the process.
Shoulder injuries, in particular, have plagued her and she was dumped out in the first round of this year's Australian Open in what proved to be her final outing in a Slam tournament.
Now, ranked 369 in the world, Sharapova has decided to end her glittering career.
In the emotional essay, she wrote: "How do you leave behind the only life you've ever known?
"I'm new to this, so please forgive me. Tennis - I'm saying goodbye.
"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."
Dan McCarthy is a reporter who is very knowledgeable about football at all levels, and a keen Leeds United fan. He also follows darts, snooker, motorsport, and rugby league.