Sania Mirza, WTA circuit, Nadia Kichenok, Hobart International, Oksana Kalashnikova, Miyu Kato
Sania, who won six Grand Slam titles in her career, bid adieu to the game last month in Dubai, where she played her final tournament. F

Australian Open: Sania loses her last women's doubles Grand Slam match

Sania Mirza’s last women’s doubles Grand Slam match ended in defeat as she went down 4-6, 6-4, 2-6 in the second round of the Australian Open in Melbourne on Sunday (January 22).

Sania and her Kazakh partner Anna Danilina, seeded eighth, lost to Belgium’s Alison Van Uytvanck and Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina in a clash lasting little over two hours.

The Indian men’s doubles pair of N Sriram Balaji and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan’s run in the competition was also halted by the French duo of Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin in the second round.

Also read: Shoaib Malik posts special birthday wish for Sania Mirza amid divorce rumours

Balaji and Nedunchezhiyan, who came into the tournament as an alternate team, were handed a 4-6, 4-6 defeat, ending India’s challenge in the men’s doubles event.

A set down and trailing 0-3 in the second, Mirza and Danilina fought back as they won three games in a row.

They got a crucial break in the seventh game when Kalinina and Van Van Uytvanck hit a forehand wide, sending the match into the decider.

Also read: In a nation starved of sporting success, why Sania Mirza never got her due

However, in the third set the Indo-Kazakh were not able to carry forward the winning momentum as they were broken thrice.

Sania is, however, still alive in the mixed doubles draw with veteran Rohan Bopanna. The duo had dispatched locals Jaimee Fourlis and Luke Saville 7-5, 6-3 in their opening round on Saturday.

A six-time Grand Slam champion (three in women’s doubles and mixed doubles each), the 36-year-old Sania had announced that the Australian Open would be her last Grand Slam and she would be retiring after the WTA 1000 Dubai Tennis Championships, slated from February 19.

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