Maria Sharapova, who is currently ranked seventh in the world in women’s tennis, has scheduled a press conference for Monday where her agent says she will make a “major announcement”. The news is sparking speculation online and in the world of tennis that the 28-year-old star may retire.
Sharapova’s agent, Max Eisenbud, declined to reveal any further details, according to the Washington Post. But over the weekend, Sharapova dropped out of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells because of an injury to her left forearm. Last summer, she had to withdraw from the U.S. Open with a right leg injury. Sharapova has not played in a tennis match since losing to Serena Williams in an Australian Open semifinal earlier this year. Sharapova has been hampered by injuries throughout much of her career.
The press conference is scheduled for 3 p.m. Monday in Los Angeles, according to ESPN.
Sharapova is a five-time major champion and has won 35 total singles titles. She’s competed on the WTA tour since 2001. She has been ranked as the No 1 player in singles on five different occasions, holding the top spot for a total of 21 weeks throughout her career.
It’s worth noting that Sharapova has achieved great success off the court throughout her career. Forbes recently named her the most marketable female athlete for the 11th straight year. The magazine estimates that she brings in almost $30 million a year in income and most of that is from endorsements and other off-court business dealings. Sharapova’s photogenic looks made her an instant hit on the tour as a teenager, drawing comparisons to another famous blonde tennis player who was known for sex appeal, Anna Kournikova. Sharapova’s endorsements include Nike and Canon and she’s appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
Sharapova has been linked romantically to other celebrities throughout her career. She dated Adam Levine when she was just 18 and has also dated television producer Charlie Ebersol and professional basketball player Sasha Vujacic.