By Martin Samuel - Sport for the Daily Mail
Published: 21:17 GMT, 26 February 2020 | Updated: 21:20 GMT, 26 February 2020
Maria Sharapova went full Kobe Bryant. 'Tennis,' she simpered. 'I'm saying goodbye.'
The video, shot soft focus for Vanity Fair, was an echo of Bryant's letter to The Players' Tribune in 2015, announcing his retirement from basketball. So moving, so personal, it was turned into an animated short, Dear Basketball, which won an Oscar in 2018.
And Sharapova has certainly turned in some Oscar-worthy performances in her time, too. The victim, that was a brilliant one. The rival to Serena Williams, although that was an earlier role, and Williams has now won 20 times in 22 meetings.
Maria Sharapova released a video confirming she is 'saying goodbye' to tennis at the age of 32
Most recently, Sharapova has been the poster girl for a number of major international concerns, most notably Grindeks, a Latvian pharmaceutical company and manufacturers of meldonium. She isn't on the payroll, but if any athlete has publicly verified the immense benefits of meldonium, it is Sharapova.
Since she was prevented from taking it, she has been unable to