- International sports icon calls time on a stellar career which saw her ascend to World No.1 and capture a prestigious career Grand Slam
- Russian star’s popularity transcended tennis and attracted countless new fans to the sport
ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA – The WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) today paid tribute to Maria Sharapova after the Russian star announced her retirement from professional tennis, having firmly established herself as one of the sport’s all-time greats.
After winning her first WTA title at Tokyo [Japan Open] in 2003, Sharapova etched her name into the history books at Wimbledon in 2004 when, at only 17, she defeated Serena Williams to become the first Russian champion at the All England Club. Later that same year she overcame Serena again to become the first from her country to win the WTA Finals season finale, and by the following summer had become the first Russian woman to achieve the WTA World No.1 ranking.
Sharapova was triumphant at Roland Garros again in 2014, and captured at least one title every year from 2003-2015, including notable wins at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells (2006, 2013), the Mutua Madrid Open (2014) and the China Open at Beijing (2015). She also won the silver medal at the London Olympics in 2012.
Later in her career she enjoyed particular success on clay; in addition to her two Roland Garros titles and victory at Madrid she won the Internazionali BNL d’Italia (Rome) three times (2011-12, 2015) and enjoyed a hat-trick of titles at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart (2012-14).
All-told, Sharapova’s consistency and longevity produced nine Top 5 ranking finishes, and 10 seasons inside the Top 10 overall. She steps away from the game with 36 singles titles, a win-loss record of 645-171 (.790) and total prize money earnings of $38,777,962.
“I congratulate Maria on her outstanding career in professional tennis,” said Steve Simon, WTA Chairman and CEO. “Her achievements of a career Grand Slam, winner of 36 WTA titles and reaching the coveted No.1 ranking reflect her deep dedication and passion for the game. She will be greatly missed by her millions of fans around the world, but I know this will also mark an exciting new beginning for Maria as she now focuses on her many business ventures, charitable activities and other outside interests. I look forward to following her successes in the years to come as she steps away as a true champion of our sport.”
Maria Sharapova – key statistics and notable achievements:
- Spent 21 weeks as WTA World No.1 – First ascended to top spot week of August 22, 2005. At 18 years 125 days, remains the fifth youngest woman to reach No.1 (after Hingis, Seles, Austin and Graf)
- Posted 10 Top 10 season finishes – 2004-08, 2011-15 (including nine Top 5 finishes)
- Winner of 36 singles titles from 59 finals – Third among active players for titles (behind S.Williams and V.Williams) and 15th on Open Era list; also won three doubles titles
- Won at least one singles title 13 years straight from 2003 until 2015, a streak only bettered by Graf, Navratilova and Evert
- Five-time Grand Slam champion from 10 major finals – 2004 Wimbledon (d. S.Williams in F), 2006 US Open, 2008 Australian Open (d. Ivanovic in F), 2012 Roland Garros (d. Errani in F to complete career Grand Slam), 2014 Roland Garros (d. Halep in F); victory at Wimbledon made her the second Russian woman to win a Grand Slam title, after Myskina at 2004 Roland Garros
- WTA Finals singles champion – Won event on debut at Los Angeles in 2004 (d. S.Williams in F); qualified for the season finale on nine occasions and was also a two-time runner-up (2007, 2012)
- Olympic silver medalist – London 2012 (l. S.Williams in F)
- Posted 98 wins over Top 10 opponents – Including seven wins over reigning No.1s. En route to winning the 2006 US Open title, defeated World No.1 Mauresmo in SF and World No.2 Henin in F
- Fed Cup highlights – Made debut for Russia in 2008 quarterfinal round with further nominations in 2011, 2012 and 2015 for a 7-1 singles record; went 2-0 vs. Czech Republic in 2015 final (tie won by Czechs, 3-2)
- Prize money of $38,777,962 – Third on all-time list (behind S.Williams and V.Williams)
- WTA Awards – Most Impressive Newcomer (2003), Most Improved Player (2004), Player of the Year (2004)
- Professional milestones – First pro event contested was ITF/Sarasota, FL-USA in 2001; made WTA main draw debut as a wild card at 2003 Indian Wells. Won final title at Tianjin Open in October 2017