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    In pictures: Maria Sharapova retires from tennis at age 32

    In pictures: Maria Sharapova retires from tennis at age 32

    In pictures: Maria Sharapova retires from tennis at age 32
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    By AP  IST (Updated)

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    SUMMARY

    Maria Sharapova was a transcendent star in tennis from the time she was a teenager, someone whose grit and groundstrokes earned her a career Grand Slam and whose off-court success included millions of dollars more in endorsement deals than prize money. And yet, Sharapova walked away from her sport rather quietly Wednesday at the age of 32, ending a career that featured five major championships, time at No. 1 in the WTA rankings, a 15-month doping ban and plenty of problems with her right shoulder. There was no goodbye tournament, no last moment in the spotlight, for someone so used to garnering so much attention for so long, with or without a racket in hand. In an essay written for Vanity Fair and Vogue about her decision to retire, posted online Wednesday, Sharapova asks: “How do you leave behind the only life you’ve ever known?” She disclosed that she "had a procedure to numb my shoulder to get through the match" a half-hour before walking on court for a first-round exit at last year's U.S. Open, writing: “I share this not to garner pity, but to paint my new reality: My body had become a distraction.”

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    In this Jan. 30, 2019, file photo, Maria Sharapova of Russia attends a meeting with her fans at the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy-2019 tennis tournament match in St.Petersburg, Russia. She has been dealing with shoulder problems for years. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky, File)

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    In this Sept. 9, 2006, file photo, Maria Sharapova kisses the women's singles championship trophy at the US Open tennis tournament in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

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    In this Jule 7, 2014, file photo, Russia's Sharapova reacts after defeating Romania's Simona Halep during their final match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France. (AP Photo/David Vincent, File)

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    In this July 1, 2004, file photo, Sharapova reacts after defeating Lindsay Davenport in their Women's Singles semi-final match on the Centre Court at Wimbledon. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus, File)

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    In this July 3, 2004, file photo, Sharapova holds the winner's trophy after defeating Serena Williams in the Women's Singles final match on the Centre Court at Wimbledon.  (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus, File)

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    In this Sept. 16, 2017, file photo, Sharapova arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "Battle of the Sexes" in Los Angeles.  (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

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    In this Aug. 22, 2006, file photo, tennis star Sharapova poses with her new TAG Heuer watch outside Bloomingdale's in New York. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff, File)

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    In this Jan. 20, 2008, file photo, Sharapova of Russia serves the ball to her compatriot Elena Dementieva during their fourth-round women's singles match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia. (AP Photo/Andrew Brownbill, File)

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    In this June 25, 2004, file photo, Sharapova blows a kiss to the crowd after defeating Daniela Hantuchova in their Women's Singles third round match on the Centre Court at Wimbledon. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus, File)

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    In this Sept. 10, 2006, file photo, Sharapova, the US Open tennis women's singles champion, poses with her trophy in New York. (AP Photo/Osamu Honda, File)

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    In this Sept. 9, 2006, file photo, Sharapova looks up to the crowd after winning the women's singles championship over Justin Henin-Hardenne of Belgium at the US Open tennis tournament in New York. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

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    In this June 28, 2003, file photo, Sharapova blows a kiss to the crowd after deafeating Yugoslavia's Jelena Dokic, in their Women's Singles third round match at Wimbledon.  (AP Photo/Dave Caulkin, File)

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    In this June 9, 2012, file photo, Maria Sharapova of Russia holds the trophy after winning the women's final match against Sara Errani of Italy at the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros stadium in Paris. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File)

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    In this Monday, March 7, 2016, file photo, tennis star Sharapova speakings during a news conference in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

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