IN PHOTOS: 8 of Maria Sharapova’s career-defining moments
After five Grand Slam victories and nearly 20 years playing competitively, Maria Sharapova is retiring from tennis.
In an emotional essay on Vanity Fair, Wednesday, the 32-year old Russian said that while “tennis has been my mountain,” she is ready “to compete on a different type of terrain.”
The former No. 1 made herself internationally known when she emerged on top of 2004 Wimbledon beating the defending champion at the time, Serena Williams.
A chronic shoulder injury and a doping ban in 2016 would hamper comeback efforts, with her match against Donna Vekic at the recently held Australian Open being her last ranked 373rd.
Maria Sharapova holds the championship plate trophy after defeating Serena Williams of the US in the ladies' singles final in Wimbledon on July 3, 2004. Sharapova became the fourth-youngest woman to win Grand Slam title in the Open era. Vassil Donev, EPA-EFE
Sharapova makes a return to Serena Williams during their finals match at the WTA Tour Championship at Staples Center in Los Angeles on November 15, 2004. This would be Sharapova’s last career win over Williams. Brendan McDermid, EPA
Sharapova returns the ball against world No. 1 Lindsay Davenport of the US at the Pan Pacific Open tennis tournament in Tokyo on February 6, 2005. This marked Sharapova’s first of seven career wins over world No. 1s, eventually becoming the first Russian woman to be ranked No. 1 a few months later. Kazuhiro Nogi, AFP
Sharapova kisses the US Open Championship trophy in front of a group of photographers after defeating Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium in the women's finals of the 2006 US Open tennis tournament at Flushing Meadows, New York on September 9, 2006. Sharapova was 19 years old at the time making her one of the rare teenage Grand Slam title holders. Justin Lane, EPA
Sharapova returns to Serbia's Ana Ivanovic during the final of the women's singles at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on Jan. 26, 2008. Sharapova eventually won, her first Australian Open title. Mark Baker, AP
Sharapova returns in the women's final match against Sara Errani of Italy at the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros stadium in Paris on June 9, 2012. With the win, Sharapova became just the sixth woman in the Open era to complete a career Grand Slam. Michael Spingler, AP
Sharapova returns a shot to Serena Williams in the women's singles gold medal match at Wimbledon, in London on August 4, 2012 at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Sharapova eventually earned silver. Victor R. Caivano, AP
Sharapova clenches her fist after scoring during the final of the French Open tennis tournament against Romania's Simona Halep at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France on June 7, 2014. With this, Sharapova won her fifth Grand Slam. Thiboult Camus, AP