Former 5-time Grand Slam champion and Russian tennis sensation Maria Sharapova on Wednesday (February 26, 2020) announced her retirement from tennis. She made the announcement official through an exclusive interview with Vanity Fair.
The former World No.1, who is just 32 years of age, shocked many fans with her sudden decision to quit the sport. She also thanked her fans for their support throughout her career.
The Russian tennis beauty is reportedly in a relationship with Alexander Gilkes currently. The couple's romance blossomed in 2018 and in March that year, the pair were snapped holding hands as they went on a date to an art gallery in Beverley Hills. Gilkes was married to Misha Nonoo, who is believed to be the Duchess of Sussex's favourite fashion designer. The couple tied the knot in Venice in 2012 before separating in 2016.
Maria Sharapova dating history goes back to her 18th birthday when she was rumoured to have had a short relationship with the Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine. The relationship came to an end after the fling resulted in a lawsuit from the pop star, who successfully sued a Russian publication.
After Adam Levine, Maria Sharapova was rumoured to be dating fellow tennis star Andy Roddick as the pair were frequently snapped together at the 2016 US Open. Roddick eventually came out and categorically denied a relationship. Sharapova was involved with the television producer Charlie Ebersol as well, but eventually the pair broke up in the same year, with Ebersol eventually going on to date Britney Spears.
In 2009, Sharapova started dating former Los Angeles Lakers star Sasha Vujacic. The pair announced their engagement in 2010 but called it off after the US Open just two years later. Maria Sharapova was then involved with yet another tennis player Grigor Dimitrov.
Before dating the Russian, Grigor Dimitrov had been courting Sharapova's on-court nemesis Serena Williams, but their news of dating was never confirmed. After a painful loss to Williams in 2015 Wimbledon final, the pair called it quits and went their separate ways.
Maria Sharapova became an overnight sensation after bagging the 2004 Wimbledon title aged 17. The Russian ace also completed the 'Career Slam' after winning all four majors in 2012. She is also an Olympic medalist, having won a silver medal in women's singles at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Sharapova was banned for 15 months in 2016 after testing positive for meldonium. Maria Sharapova had won only three matches since reaching the fourth round of 2019 Australian Open and was defeated in the first round at this year's Australian Open in Melbourne by Donna Vekic.