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Five-Time Grand Slam Winner Sharapova Retires From Professional Tennis

Maria Sharapova (file photo)

Maria Sharapova says she is retiring at the age of 32 after a 19-year professional career in tennis.

The five-time Grand Slam champion made the announcement in an essay that Vogue and Vanity Fair magazines published on February 26.

"I'm new to this, so please forgive me. Tennis -- I’m saying goodbye," she wrote.

The Russian tennis star was the world’s highest-ranked player in 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2012, but bid farewell to the sport ranked 373rd, according to the World Tennis Association.

Sharapova turned professional in 2001 at age 14 and went on to win Wimbledon in 2004, the U.S. Open in 2006, the Australian Open in 2008, and the French Open twice, in 2012 and 2014.

She was hobbled by shoulder injuries throughout her career and had multiple surgeries.

She played two matches this season losing both, and since her two-year suspension for doping in 2016, she had reached only one major quarterfinal.

She appealed the suspension and got it reduced to 15 months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

CAS found there had been "no significant fault" on her part..

Sharapova’s star-power earned her many more millions of dollars in sponsorship and endorsement deals than the prize money she won on the tennis court.

Based on reporting by AP, ESPN, and dpa