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Sharapova: What I Miss Most

Parting can be painful.

Recently-retired Maria Sharapova says there's one thing she will miss most about the sport: competing.

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"Competing—there’s nothing like it," Sharapova told Daniela Hantuchova in her first interview after retirement at World TeamTennis' Celebrity All-Star Weekend. "No matter what I’ll choose to do in my future, that moment of victory and match points and losing and then having to figure it out for the next match is one of the best parts of this game."

The 32-year-old Russian announced her official retiremen due to chronic injuries, concluding a career that saw her capture five Grand Slam crowns, complete the career Grand Slam, rise to world No. 1 and enjoy a record run as the world's highest-paid female athlete for 11 years, according to Forbes.

Sharapova  said her immediate plans include plenty of rest.

"Just to give my body a little break; it’s been a long 28 years of my life," Sharapova said. "So many reflections in this past week after the announcement...

"It’s never an easy time to step away from something you love. But it’s brought me incredible moments throughout my life. Tough moments as well. I think the toughest thing is I still very much love the game. But every athlete—whether your female or male—as an athlete you have to say I’m finished at one point and for me that came."

Photo credit: World TeamTennis