Sania Mirza breaks down at Australian Open, bids adieu to Grand Slams
Sania had earlier announced that the Australian Open 2023 would be her swansong
HYDERABAD: Curtains came down on the glittering Grand Slam career of India’s tennis icon and Hyderabad’s very own Sania Mirza at Melbourne Park on Friday. Despite the defeat in the mixed doubles final of Australian Open 2023, India’s best ever woman tennis star exited the arena she loved most on a high.
Overcome with emotions at the culmination of an illustrious career with some great highs and a few disappointing lows, the ace tennis star struggled to hold back her tears during her farewell speech at the trophy presentation ceremony.
Sania and her mixed doubles partner Rohan Bopanna, also of India, were defeated 6-7(2), 2-6 in the finals by the Brazilian duo of Luisa Stefani and Rafael Mataos at the Rod Laver Arena on Friday. She greeted the Brazilian duo and congratulated them on their well-deserved victory.
The defeat may have robbed her of some finale sheen but still, it couldn’t have come at a bigger stage than a Grand Slam final. Sania had earlier announced that the Australian Open 2023 would be her swansong. However, the 36-year-old athlete does intend to compete in a few more tournaments before calling it a day on her stellar career.
On January 13, she announced on social media platforms that the 2023 Australian Open would be her final major event. "Thirty (yes, 30!) years ago a 6 year old girl from Nasr School in Hyderabad, walked on to a tennis court at Nizam Club with her young mom and fought the coach to let her learn how to play tennis as he thought that she was too little. The fight for our dreams began at 6!"
She added, "To win medals for my country has been my biggest honour and I feel truly humbled to have been able to stand up on the podium. knowing that the tri color had been raised high to be seen and respected by millions all over the world all because of something that I was privileged enough to achieve have tears in my eyes and goosebumps even as I type this."
Mirza described her decision to retire in detail in a lengthy note, "Mirza further explained the reason behind her decision to retire. Life must move on and I don't think this is the end but, in fact, a beginning of many different memories to be created, dreams to be achieved and new goals to be set. My son needs me more than ever now and I can't wait to live a slightly quieter and calmer life while giving him more of my time than I have been able to give so far. Like they say. Game Set Celebrate. Here's to new beginnings. Love," she concluded.