Sania Mirza bids emotional farewell to Grand Slams

Mirza and her partner Rohan Bopanna suffers a straight loss in the mixed doubles final of the Australian Open

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Updated: 27 January, 2023 11:03 am IST
Sania Mirza struggled to hold back her tears  (Photo Courtesy Twitter @AustralianOpen)

Indian women’s tennis legend Sania Mirza bids an emotional farewell to Grand Slam tennis.

Playing her final Grand Slam match, Sania and her partner Rohan Bopanna suffered a 6-7(2), 2-6 final heartbreak against the Brazilian pair of Luisa Stefani and Rafael Mataos in the mixed doubles final of the Australian Open.

The loss means Mirza’s professional tennis journey ended with six Grand Slam titles – three in mixed, including the 2009 Australian Open.

Mirza had announced that she was pulling the curtains on her glorious tennis career, one that has inspired thousands of girls across India. While the Australia Open was her final Grand Slam tournament, she will play her final tournament next month in Dubai, where she has been residing for a decade now.

It was quite understandable that Mirza struggled to hold back her tears as she bade adieu to the tournament that gave her her first Grand Slam title.

“Disclaimer, If I cry, it is happy tears, not sad tears. I don’t want to take away the moment from Matos-Stefani, who have deserved this,” Mirza said at the presentation ceremony while addressing the crowd at the Rod Laver Arena.


“I’m still going to play a few more tournaments, but the journey of my professional career started in Melbourne in 2005, when I played Serena Williams in the third round as an 18-year-old,” she said while reliving her impressive journey.

“I’ve had the privilege to come back here again and again, win some tournaments here, play some great finals … Rod Laver Arena has really been special in my life. I couldn’t think of a better arena to finish my career at Grand Slams,” she added.

Mirza, who is married to former Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik, returned to tennis in 2020 after giving birth to a son, Izhaan, in 2018.

Mirza acknowledged that she never thought she would play a Grand Slam final in front of her son.

“I never thought I would be able to play in front of my child in a Grand Slam final, so it’s truly special for me to have my 4-year-old here and my parents here,” Mirza said.

Heaping praise on his partner and countrymate, Bopanna said, “It’s truly special for me to play with Sania. Our first mixed doubles together were when she was 14 years old, and we happened to win the title. Today, we get to play the last Grand Slam match in Rod Laver Arena. Unfortunately, we couldn’t win the title, but thank you for all you’ve done for Indian tennis.”

“Not only Indian tennis, but inspiring everyone across the world by playing tennis at the highest level for so many, many years. It really shows the dedication and hard work you’ve put in, through and through. Congratulations on a fantastic career,” Bopanna, who has one French Open mixed doubles title to his credit, said.

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