Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova will hold a press conference on Monday afternoon in Los Angeles with speculation that she will announce her retirement from the sport. Sharapova’s agent Max Eisenbud reportedly would not comment on the details of the press conference.
— Maria Sharapova (@MariaSharapova) March 7, 2016
Ranked No. 7 in the world, Sharapova has been slowed by injuries to her shoulder, elbow and ankle in recent years, prompting questions about her future. The Russian star most recently withdrew from the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells in California due to a left forearm injury that has kept her sidelined since losing to Serena Williams 6-4 6-1 on Jan. 26 in the quarterfinals at Melbourne. Sharapova originally sustained the injury in September at the Wuhan Open in China.
“I am extremely disappointed that I am unable to compete in this year’s BNP Paribas Open,” Sharapova said in a statement on Thursday. “I have been focused on healing my left forearm injury and tried to get my body to be 100 percent ready to play this event, as it is one of my favorite events on the WTA and so close to my home in LA. I know the tournament will be a great success this year and I will be anxious to return next year and hopefully many years after.”
Sharapova, who turns 29 in April, has not won a Grand Slam since the 2014 French Open and her ranking has dipped to 3,562 points, just 57 more than No. 8 Belinda Bencic and more than 5,000 points behind top-ranked Williams. Sharapova entered the 2015 season ranked No. 2, and finished with a 39-9 record, capturing titles in the Brisbane International in January and the Italian Open in May.
The winner of a career Grand Slam, Sharapova has spent 21 weeks as the No. 1 player in the world since turning pro in April 2001. She won her first Grand Slam in 2004, capturing a Wimbledon title in a straight-sets victory over Williams. Sharapova would go on to win the U.S. Open in 2006, the Australian Open in 2008, and then take home the French in 2012 and 2014.
The native of Nyagan, Russia, has a career record of 592-142 and was won 35 WTA tournaments. Her career earnings have toppled $36 million.
Forbes reported that Sharapova earned $29.7 million in endorsements between June 2014 and June 2015, topping the list of world’s highest paid female athletes for the 11th consecutive year. In Jan. 2010, Sharapova and Nike agreed to an endorsement deal worth $70 million over eight years. She has also signed deals with Gatorade, Head, Canon and Porsche among others.