Indian superstar Sania Mirza announces retires after the Australian Open.
Playing with Rohan Bopanna, who was her first playing partner 22 years ago, the 36-year-old retired from Grand Slam tennis on January 27 after losing in the Australian Open mixed-doubles final, Mirza made one final trip to Melbourne Park and advanced to the final set. Brazilian duo Luisa Stefani and Rafael Matos defeated her and Bopanna 7-6 (7/2), 6-2.
“If I cry, these are happy tears. I don’t want to take away the moment from Matos-Stefani who deserved this. I’m still going to play a couple more tournaments but my career started in Melbourne in 2005 when I played Serena as an 18-year-old,” Sania said.
She played mixed doubles for the first time at 14, and it was Rohan Bopanna who became her partner. The pair won the national championship. According to the six-time Grand Slam winner, Sania could not imagine anyone else playing the final and capping off her career. She called Bopanna one of her best friends and partners.
“There’s no better place for me, or person for me, to finish my Grand Slam career,” she said.
Pakistan cricketer and Sania’s husband, Shoaib Malik hailed the Indian tennis ace for her achievements on the tennis court. The former Pakistan captain’s tweet went viral.
As it is reported that all is not well between the couple but still Shoaib Malik shared an appreciation post for his wife on Twitter. He wrote, “You are the much-needed hope for all the women in sports. Super proud of you for all you have achieved in your career. You’re an inspiration for many, keep going strong. Many congratulations on an unbelievable career…”