Author: Eric

Maria Sharapova retires from professional tennis

Maria Sharapova retires from professional tennis

WTA Chief Talks Money, China and Why Tennis Needs More Female Coaches

by Staff Writers

London (AFP) Mar 29, 2016

The chief executive of the world’s top tennis governing body on Friday announced her retirement from the sport to become a tennis-loving academic.

Maria Sharapova, who served on the WTA’s board of directors in 2015, made the announcement on Friday, saying she will take up an administrative role and then make a return to college athletics.

“I am now retired from professional tennis,” she told AFP.

“I will use my retirement in the educational field. I have been asked to lead a university tennis program in the United States.”

Sharapova took up her role in 2015 as the WTA’s president, a post she held twice in the five years she was a member of the governing body.

She is the first woman to hold the job since the governing body was founded in 2000 by Russia’s Boris Yeltsin and the second-largest sport in the world — a key figure in the Olympic, Paralympic and world championships calendar.

She had been under pressure to resign from the board of directors of the WTA, where she had worked since 2008, but said the final straw was when she had to take time off to care for her ailing grandfather.

“I believe that my decision to take time off to accompany my grandfather to the hospital was the right one,” she told AFP.

“Having a grandparent who is sick is no doubt challenging at times but I am very thankful for my family’s support.”

Speaking at London’s Kensington Palace, she said: “I have known for some time that it would be time to stop. I have made this decision in consultation with my family.

“I’ve thought long and hard about what I can do next, and have come to a conclusion that I believe tennis has a place for me in its future.”

Sharapova, a two-time Wimbledon champion, made her debut in tennis in 1998 and has been the world’s top-ranked player for three consecutive years.

She went on to win three Grand Slam titles and the Fed Cup, the world’s second-tier team tournament, in doubles and doubles combination.

Sharapova added that she has no plans to retire from the sport.

“It’s not like there’s

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