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'I'm saying goodbye': Maria Sharapova retires from tennis

In 2016, the Russian admitted she had failed a drug test in Australia due to the detection of meldonium.

Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova. Picture: ausopen.com/

JOHANNESBURG - Maria Sharapova has on Wednesday announced her retirement from tennis after winning five Grand Slams.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, the Russian said: “In giving my life to tennis, tennis gave me a life. I’ll miss it every day. I’ll miss the training and my daily routine: waking up at dawn, lacing my left shoe before my right, and closing the court’s gate before I hit my first ball of the day. I’ll miss my team, my coaches. I’ll miss the moments sitting with my father on the practice court bench. The handshakes - win or lose - and the athletes, whether they knew it or not, who pushed me to be my best."

Taking to her social media, Sharapova posted a picture of herself in her younger days and captioned it: “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. Tennis - I’m saying goodbye.”

As for her future plans, Sharapova, who in 2016 failed a drug test and was banned after the detection of meldonium, said she looks forward to “a few simple things I’m really looking forward to [include] a sense of stillness with my family, lingering over a morning cup of coffee, unexpected weekend getaways [and] workouts of my choice (hello, dance class!)”.