Sania Mirza Bows Out of Grand Slams With a Final Defeat at Australian Open 2023
Sania Mirza, and her partner, Rohan Bopanna, lost 6-7, 2-6 against Brazil's Luisa Stefani and Rafael Matos.
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Indian tennis ace, Sania Mirza’s last Grand Slam match resulted in a defeat here in the Australian Open 2023. Competing in the mixed doubles final, the pair of Mirza and Rohan Bopanna lost against Brazil’s Luisa Stefani and Rafael Matos 6-7, 2-6.
The 36-year-old was seen holding back tears at the Rod Laver Arena after her defeat, with this match being her last outing in a Grand Slam. Earlier this year, the six-time Grand Slam winner announced that she will retire from the sport following the Dubai Tennis Championships, which will be held in February.
"If I cry, these are happy tears. I don't want to take away the moment from Matos-Stefani who have deserved this. I'm still going to play a couple more tournaments," she said after the match.
Reminiscing her match against Serena Williams at this very competition, back in 2005, she further stated "For me the most special memory remains playing against Serena here when I was 18 years old. Even though I lost that match, got blown off the court."
"The journey of my professional career started in Melbourne in 2005. I have had the privilege of coming back here again and again; win some tournaments and play some great finals amongst you all. The Rod Laver Arena has really been special in my life, and I could not think of a better arena to finish my career at in a grand slam," Sania concluded.
He Is One of My Best Partners: Sania Mirza on Rohan Bopanna
The player also got emotional whilst thanking Rohan Bopanna, who, alongside being the partner in her last Grand Slam campaign, also happens to be her very first mixed doubles partner.
"Rohan was my first-ever mixed-doubles partner at 14 and we won the nationals. It was a long time ago, 22 years ago, and I couldn’t think of a better person. He is one of my best friends and best partners," Sania recollected.
Sania Bids Adieu to Grand Slams With Six Titles
Sania’s first Grand Slam victory was here at the Australian Open back in 2009, where she won the mixed doubles title alongside Mahesh Bhupati, by beating Nathalie Dechy and Andy Ram. Three years later, she added a French Open mixed doubles title to her cabinet. With Bhupati being her partner this time around as well, the duo got the better of Klaudia Jans-Ignacik and Santiago Gonzalez.
Her last mixed doubles Grand Slam win came at the US Open in 2014. Partnering Brazil’s Bruno Soares, who defeated the pair of Abigail Spears and Santiago Gonzalez.
Over the next two years, Sania added three more Grand Slam titles to her account – all of them coming in women’s doubles category, and with Switzerland’s Martina Hingis as her partner. She won the prestigious Wimbledon and US Open in 2015, before a successful Australian Open triumph in 2016.
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