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Sania Mirza

Sania Mirza retires after a first-round defeat in Dubai Tournament

Sania Mirza declares her retirement in Dubai after an immediate defeat in the first round of the Dubai Duty-Free Tennis event. After achieving mighty success and setting high standards for the coming generation of India’s tennis arena, Sania has ended up her tennis career now.

Sania and her American mate Madison Keys lost 4- 6 0- 6 to the redoubtable Russian brace of Veronica Kudermetova and Liudmila Samsonova in exactly one hour at the WTA Dubai event.

In the last month, Sania played her last Grand Slam and ended as a runner-up at the Australian Open along with companion Rohan Bopanna.

Now settled in Dubai, Sania would have hoped for a dream ending at her alternate home but she banged into a strong Russian pairing that cut short her stay in the final event of her career in which she won 43 WTA doubles titles and one mate’s jewel. 

 Success wasn’t the only highlight of her nearly two- decade long career as unwarranted difficulties chased Sania throughout. Occasionally she remained stunned and kept going, achieving numerous victories. Sometimes, she failed terribly and she considered not playing in India.

It was when she had to prove her love and loyalty for India after being indicted for disrespecting Indian tri-color during the 2008 Hopman Cup in Australia. The worst jibe thrown at her was when she was

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called son-in-law of Pakistan due to her marriage with Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik. This was immediately after; Telangana state chose her as their brand ambassador for them.

After all, how many from India came in the top 30 tennis players? How numerous bettered at Majors? How numerous came world number one across formats? How numerous won the time-end crowns? In men’s tennis, just a few, and in women’s tennis, it’s only Sania. And no player is in sight who looks like indeed getting near to what Sania Mirza has achieved.

The gap is huge and the stylish after Sania is also gradationally fading.

 The 36- time-old Sania, who turned Pro in 2003, walks out of competitive tennis with six Grand Slam titles, including three women’s doubles with Swiss legend Martina Hingis. She won two of her three mixed doubles with compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi (2009 Australian Open and 2012 French Open). She won the US Open jewel with Bruno Soares.  Still, success escaped at the biggest stage Olympics. She was close to winning a citation at the 2016 Rio Games but lost the play-off with Bopanna. Read more: Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates Saudi Arabia’s Founding Day with his club Al Nassr

In the final match of her career, the breaks were traded at a quick pace in the opening set which was locked at 4- 4. From there, Kudermetova and Samsonova broke the brace of Sania and Keys one further time for a 5- 4 lead, placing themselves in a position from where they could serve out the set.

They did that relatively comfortably, losing one point in the 10th game.   Sania and her mate were broken in the veritably first game of the alternate set and it was one-way after that.

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February 2024
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