Indian tennis legend Sania Mirza brought an end to her legendary Grand Slam tennis career on Friday (January 27). The 36-year-old Sania Mirza, who won six Grand Slam titles during her almost two-decade-long professional career, failed to bag the seventh major title after suffering a defeat in the final of the mixed doubles competition at the ongoing 2023 Australian Open.
Sania, who was partnering Rohan Bopanna in the last Grand Slam tournament of her glorious career, suffered a 6-7, 2-6 defeat in the decider at the Rod Laver Arena against the Brazilian pair of Luisa Stefani and Rafael Matos.
The Indian pair showed some fight in the first set against their much younger opponents from Brazil, but they failed to get the better of them. It was a heartbreaking end to Sania’s legendary Grand Slam career, where she failed to win her third top prize in Australia. As she brought an end to her glorious career, fans took to Twitter to pay tribute to her and laud her greatness.
The Indian superstar will say goodbye to professional tennis after playing in the Dubai Open next month, but a defeat in the mixed-doubles decider certainly brought an end to her Grand Slam career. During her time at the top, Sania won two Australian Open and US Open titles, and on one occasion each, she won the French Open (in mixed doubles) and Wimbledon (women’s doubles).
Saina couldn’t hold back her tears during her final speech and said that the Rod Laver Arena has been a special place in her life. Saina played her first Grand Slam tournament in Melbourne in 2005, where she suffered a defeat in the third round against Serena Williams, and 18 years later, she played her final Grand Slam match here.
“I am still going to play in a couple more tournaments. But my journey, of my professional career started in Melbourne in 2005, when I played Serena Williams in the third round here as an 18-year-old, and that was scary enough 18 years ago. I have had the privilege to come back here again and again, win some tournaments here, and play some great finals.
Rod Laver Arena has really been special in my life. And I couldn’t think of a better arena to finish my career in a Grand Slam. So, thank you so much for making me feel at home here,” said Saina, who struggled to hold back her tears.