Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova has announced she is “saying goodbye” to tennis at the age of 32.
Sharing the news via an essay she wrote in Vogue and Vanity Fair, Sharapova, who won Wimbledon aged just 17 beating reigning champion Serena Williams, cited her serious shoulder injuries as the reason for leaving the sport behind.
It isn’t just tennis that’s kept Sharapova in the headlines though. The former world number one, one of only 10 women ever to have won each of tennis’ four Grand Slam titles, has been a fixture of the fashion world for over a decade now, too.
Sharapova, who expanded her sweetie label Sugarpova to incorporate fashion and beauty back in 2013, is no stranger to the front row at fashion shows, and even brought out a range of footwear with American brand Cole Haan in 2009.
Backed by Nike for her entire career, the Grand Slam winner’s on-court style consisted of a chic and streamlined wardrobe of Nike separates. The brand has today been quick to pay tribute to their long-serving ambassador today, with a social media post that reads:
They wanted you to smile more.
They wanted you to be more polite.
They wanted you to scream a little softer.
They wanted you to be less aggressive when you won.
They wanted you to walk away when you made mistakes.
But instead of just becoming the player the game wanted?
You became the player it needed.
And it was this streamlined, sportswear-inspired aesthetic that translated to Sharapova’s wardrobe off the court. “Clean, simple lines and a sophisticated, powerful feel are the type of dresses I prefer,” Sharapova told Vogue in 2015. And a quick scan through the best of her party and red carpet ensembles shows the tennis pro tends to swerve florals, patterns and frills in favour of block colours and structural silhouettes.
Sharapova’s style has become increasingly high fashion in recent years, and has seen her switching out the cap sleeve mini dresses for loose-fitting Tibi suit and Stella McCartney gowns.
She served arguably her best ever look at this year’s Vanity Fair Oscars party in a lime green georgette maxi dress by Valentino which featured puff sleeves, a high collar and floor-length tiered silhouette. A tennis ball-coloured sartorial Grand Slam if ever we saw one.