Sania Mirza competed in her final Grand Slam tournament on Friday at Melbourne Park, finishing second to Luisa Stefani and Rafael Matos of Brazil in the Australian Open mixed doubles final. This was Sania’s final major tournament, as the 36-year-old had previously announced her retirement from professional tennis. She also stated that the current Australian Open would be her final tournament.
The last dance 🧚🏽♀️💜🎾 @AustralianOpen @WTA pic.twitter.com/mR6omkQjB2
— Sania Mirza (@MirzaSania) January 22, 2023
However, in a heartbreaking defeat, Mirza and Bopanna fell short in their serves and finished second in the tournament to the Brazilian duo. Sania recalled playing in the most amazing tournaments of her life and how people were so enthusiastic about watching her play in a heartfelt interview following her match. She reflected on how the Australian Open had been a watershed moment in her career.
“I couldn’t think of a better arena to end my career at,” Sania said in an emotional post-match interview.
“I am still planning to compete in a few more tournaments,” she added. My professional career, however, began in Melbourne in 2005, when I faced Serena Williams in the third round as an eighteen-year-old, a terrifying experience at the time. I’ve had the good fortune to return here several times, winning some tournaments and competing in some incredible finals. Rod Laver Arena has been an important part of my life, and there is no better place to conclude my Grand Slam career. Thank you so much for making me feel so at home here.”
Sania’s fans and the general public were moved to tears when she was eliminated from the tournament, and Twitter was flooded with tributes to her remarkable career. People were also moved by Sania’s retirement because the legend is one of the most prominent athletes in the world, having made India proud with her exceptional achievements. Sania is the first Indian woman to win a Grand Slam tournament.
Check out the emotional reactions to Sania’s retirement at the tournament.
Sania Mirza had me all choked up here pic.twitter.com/Y1HOJ6jYXu
— Ryan (@Some1NamedRyan) January 27, 2023
Sania Mirza crying as she ends her career where it all started for her against Serena Williams in 2005 💔 #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/TJUktrUQdi
— Farid Khan (@_FaridKhan) January 27, 2023