Sania Mirza
"Rod Laver Arena has been special in my life," Sania said. File photo: WTA

Tearful Sania Mirza ends Grand Slam career; loses mixed doubles final

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Indian tennis star Sania Mirza ended her Grand Slam career on Friday (January 27) as a runner-up in the mixed doubles event at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Sania and Rohan Bopanna pair lost to Brazil’s Luisa Stefani and Rafael Matos in the mixed doubles final at the Rod Laver Arena on Friday afternoon.

Stefani and Matos defeated Sania and Rohan 7-6 (2), 6-2 in 1 hour and 27 minutes to win the title.

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

After the loss, there were tears in her eyes as she remembered her professional career journey that started at the same venue – Melbourne in 2005, as a teenager playing against Serena Williams of the US.

“It started in Melbourne in 2005 when I played Serena Williams in the third round here as an 18-year-old. That was 18 years ago. Since then I have had the privilege to come back again and again and win some tournaments, and play some great finals. Rod Laver Arena has been special in my life,” Sania said.

Also read: Sania loses her last women’s doubles Grand Slam match

Earlier in the tournament, Sania’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.

Sania, 36, earlier this month, announced that Australian Open would be her last Grand Slam tournament and she will end her tennis career in Dubai next month at the WTA 1000 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

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