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Injury-hit Maria Sharapova to announce retirement today?

Los Angeles: Five-time grand slam winner Maria Sharapova has called a press conference to make an announcement on today.

The 28-year-old Russian will speak in Los Angeles at midday (8pm GMT), according to a short statement on her website that began: “Maria Sharapova to make an announcement at a press conference.”

Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova

World number seven Sharapova has been struggling with an arm injury this year and has played in only one tournament, losing to Serena Williams in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open. The unspecified nature of the announcement has sparked speculation about Sharapova’s future in the sport, and whether she might choose to retire or take a break to recover full fitness.

Sharapova’s manager, Max Eisenbud, told Eurosport Russia in February this was unlikely to be Sharapova’s final season. He said: “I think not. But in order to play again she needs to be healthy.”

Sharapova won her first grand slam as a 17-year-old at Wimbledon in 2004 and has since landed the 2006 US Open title, the 2008 Australian Open and the French Open twice, in 2012 and 2014.

The highest-paid female athlete in world sport for the last 11 years, according to Forbes, Sharapova has earned a large part of her income through sponsor endorsements and has her own sweet business, Sugarpova. She has pulled out of the upcoming Indian Wells tournament, the BNP Paribas Open, due to injury. Announcing that decision on Thursday, Sharapova said: “I have been focused on healing my left forearm injury and tried to get my body to be 100 per cent ready to play this event. I will be anxious to return next year.”

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