Sharapova calls Monday news conference amid retirement rumours


Speculation over Maria Sharapova's future has surfaced following confirmation that the five-time grand slam champion is to make an announcement at a news conference on Monday.

Injuries have restricted the former world number one to sporadic outings in recent months and she withdrew from the upcoming BNP Paribas Open earlier this week due to a troublesome left forearm problem.

In doing so, Sharapova expressed a willingness to return to the Indian Wells event in 2017.

However, retirement rumours were duly sparked by a brief message on the Russian's official website, which confirmed a news conference with Sharapova will be streamed live from 8pm GMT on Monday.

Sharapova has been one of the leading players on the WTA Tour for more than a decade, having burst onto the scene by winning Wimbledon as a 17-year-old in 2004.

Victory at the 2012 French Open saw Sharapova complete a career Grand Slam and her most recent major title also came at Roland Garros in 2014.

Now 28, she is ranked seventh in the WTA rankings and reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open in her only tournament appearance so far this year.