Women's Sport: The defining moments of Maria Sharapova's career

2020 Australian Open - Day 2

Bursting onto the world stage as a teenager, Maria Sharapova became one of tennis' biggest names.

Now, aged 32, after being increasingly plagued by injury, she has announced her retirement, writing a farewell letter to the sport in Vanity Fair and Vogue.  

But what were the defining moments of her 15-year professional career? GiveMeSport took a look back over the highs and lows of Sharapova's life in the spotlight.

Wins her first Grand Slam

At the age of 17, Sharapova defeated Serena Williams in the Wimbledon 2004 final for her first Grand Slam title. Behind Martina Hingis, Monica Seles and Tracy Austin, she was the fourth-youngest player to win an Open-era Grand Slam.

Becomes the World No. 1

On 22 August 2005 Sharapova became the first Russian woman to be ranked No. 1 in the world. She held the top spot five times during her career for a total of 21 weeks.

US Open victory

Aged 19, Sharapova claimed her second Grand Slam title at the 2006 US Open. Until Bianca Andreescu's 2019 US Open win, Sharapova's victory against Justine Henin was the last time a teenager won a Grand Slam title.

2020 Australian Open - Day 2

Australian Open title

Sharapova claimed her third grand slam title at the 2008 Australian Open. She defeated Ana Ivanovic to win the major, not dropping a set during the entire tournament. 

Career Grand Slam

With her 2012 French Open title, Sharapova achieved a career Grand Slam-winning each of the four majors. She was the sixth woman to achieve the feat in the Open era behind Margaret Court, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf and Williams.

Olympic Silver

At the London 2012 Olympics, in another encounter with Williams, Sharapova lost the final taking home a silver medal for Russia. This was Sharapova's only Olympic games.

A Fifth Grand Slam

In 2014 Sharapova won her final Grand Slam title at the French Open. She defeated Simona Halep in the final to claim her fifth major title and second at the French Open.


Failed Drug Test

In 2016 after testing positive for banned substance Meldonium, Sharapova served a 15-month ban. She said she did not realise it had been added to the banned list in 2015 and although the authorities accepted it wasn't intentional doping it did taint her career.

A Rivalry with Serena Williams?

The media often painted the two players as rivals, and indeed in her memoir Unstoppable: My Life So Far, Sharapova wrote: “I think Serena hated me for being the skinny kid who beat her, against all odds, at Wimbledon."

On the court, however, it was a different story. The last time that Sharapova defeated Williams was at the WTA Finals in 2004 when she fought back in the final set to win. Out of their 22 encounters, Sharapova only won twice. 

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