Five-time Gran Slam winner Maria Sharapova has announced her retired from tennis at the age of 32.
Sharapova became one of the richest and most famous athletes of the 21st century, but has been worn down by constant injuries. She had been trying to return to the sport following a suspension for the use of a banned substance in 2016.
The Russian champion started her success by winning Wimbledon in 2004, when she was just 17 years old. She defeated No.1 seed Serena Williams in the final.
Sharapova was the highest earning women’s athlete for eleven straight years, according to Forbes. She had endorsements from companies including Nike and Evian. She reportedly made $30 million in 2015, but was knocked down the pecking order the following year due to her suspension. She was punished for the use of meldonium, a drug that is thought to improve blood flow – primarily used for heart patients.
“Maria is very smart, very savvy and very professional, probably the ultimate professional,” Steve Simon, the chief executive of the Women’s Tennis Association, said in a recent interview.
“She’ll be remembered very well for what she brought to the game, and I think everybody thinks of her as the ultimate competitor.”