Maria Sharapova, one of the greatest tennis players to ever play the game, has finally called it quits. The 32-year old star announced her retirement by writing an essay for magazines Vanity Fair and Vogue – where she shared many awesome and emotional moments from her career.
Apart from achieving phenomenal success in tennis, Sharapova also touched great heights as a model and a businesswoman.
Maria Sharapova made a phenomenal record just when she was 17
It was the year 2004, when a 17-year old Maria Sharapova stormed into the scene and announced her arrival to the world by defeating Serena Williams and winning the Wimbledon. Soon afterwards, she defeated Serena again in another grand slam.
The famous Sharapova versus Serena rivalry
But surprisingly, Serena has won every time the both played head-to-head in any tournament. By winning 19 matches in a row against Sharapova, the record stays 20-2 in the favour of Serena. But that still doesn’t beat the fact the Sharapova won the first ever match against Serena when she was just a 17-year old beginner and Serena was a 23-year old pro.
She started her career at the age of 14
Sharapova started her professional career in 2001 at the age of 14. In 2004, she defeated Serena Williams in the final to win the Wimbledon. She won the U.S. Open in 2006 and then the Australian Open in 2008. Her final Grand Slam titles came at Roland-Garros, winning the French Open in both 2012 and 2014.
She was known for her incredible gameplay, powerful strokes, and her grit at the court. She won a total of 36 titles, and her game record was 645-171.
She was banned for 2 years because of doping
One of the worst phases in Sharapova’s career came when she was banned for 24 months, after being found guilty of doping in 2016. Her punishment was reduced to 15 months later on, but her career was severely derailed afterwards.
After her return to the WTA tour, she played 73 matches and won 45 of them, but she could only manage to clinch one title.
Maria Sharapova’s career lasted for 19 years
She writes about the extremes of the game – the “untold tears and unspeakable joys,” and said that it’s “a sport where I found a family, along with fans who rallied for more than 28 years.”
Tennis — I’m saying goodbye. How do you leave behind the only life you’ve ever known?
She also posted a picture of her as a young girl on tennis court
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
She tweeted a picture of her when she was a young girl. And said:
Tennis showed me the world — and it showed me what I was made of.
Even after years of not playing, Maria’s net worth is staggering
Maria Sharapova’s net worth is currently estimated to $200 million, as Forbes described her as “marketing machine” since she has affiliations with the most popular brands in the arena of sports, fashion, and luxury.
Her own business Sugarpova has been a phenomenal success since its launch in 2013, which she describes as “a premium candy line that reflects the fun, fashionable, sweet side (of me)”.
Sharapova’s records are matched by only six other players ever
She is one of the only six women tennis players in the world who have won every major tournament title at least once. Her heartfelt tribute to tennis wrote:
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.
Featured Image Courtesy: GettyImages