One of the finest sporting personalities in India : Sania Mirza
“My professional career started in Melbourne … [Grand Slam] I couldn’t think of a better arena to finish her career,” she said.
Indian tennis icon Sania Mirza plays her final Grand Slam match in the 2023 Australian Open mixed doubles final against Rohan Bopanna alongside Brazilian duo Luisa Stefani and Rafael Mataos at Rod Laver Arena lost 6-7(2) 2-6. In Melbourne on Friday 27th January. Sania is an absolute pioneer in this sport. She was a huge inspiration to the country’s female athletes, fighting till the very end even in her last match and achieving a dream finish at a Grand Slam. To start my Grand Slam career at the Australian Open and finish it here in 2023.
Sania Mirza disappoints fans with her new photoshoot amid Shoaib Malik divorce rumors
Sania had tears in her eyes as she gave her final speech while her audience applauded throughout. After her last bout, Sania continued to receive messages and accolades.Sania has won six Grand Slam titles in doubles during her illustrious career. This includes 2 Australian Open titles, 2 US Open titles, 1 Wimbledon title and 1 French Open title.
Her husband, Shoaib Malik, also tweeted after her last match at the Australian Open, writing about her incredible career: “You are coveted by all women in the sport.” Hope. I am proud of all you have achieved in your career so far. You are an inspiration to many. Many congratulations on an incredible career…” he tweeted late on Jan. 27.
There were rumors about their breakup. A few months ago, an insider revealed that Sania and Malik had decided to break up. However, the couple remained silent on the whole topic before starting a chat show together called The Mirza Malik Show where they talked about their lives with celebrities. However, with Shoaib still not appearing in Sania’s tweets or his photos on Instagram, tensions remain about the future of their relationship.
She had already announced that Sania would end her journey to the Grand Slams with her 2023 Australian Open. But the 36-year-old athlete has a few more events on the way before retiring from a illustrious career.
SANIA MIRZA’S CAREER HIGHLIGHTS –
- 2001 – Played the first event of her career on ITF Circuit in India
- 2002 – Won three singles titles and doubles title on ITF Circuit and won Asian Games bronze medal in mixed doubles with Leander Paes
- 2003 – played first WTA main draw at Hyderabad and won three singles and one doubles title on ITF Circuit
- 2004 – Won first WTA doubles title a Hyderabad and won six singles titles and two doubles titles on ITF Circuit
- 2005 – Became the first Indian woman to win a singles WTA Tour title and first Indian woman to reach a Grand Slam third round (at Australian Open). She also became the first Indian woman to crack the Top 50 and was named WTA Newcomer of the Year
- 2006 – Won two WTA doubles titles
- 2007 – Won four WTA doubles titles and Ranked 27th (career-high) in the WTA Singles Rankings
- 2008 – Made her debut at Olympic Games (Beijing); in the first round singles outing, had to retire due to a wrist injury and first Indian woman in tennis to surpass $1 million in career prize money
- 2009 – Won first Grand Slam title in mixed doubles at Australian Open with Mahesh Bhupati along with one WTA doubles title and one singles title on ITF Circuit
- 2010 – Won one WTA doubles title and won one singles title on ITF Circuit
- 2011 – Won three WTA doubles titles and Made doubles Top 10 debut
- 2012 – Won two WTA doubles titles and played in London Olympics; reached the quarter-finals with Leander Paes
- 2013 – Played first Top 10 doubles season (finished No 9) and Won five WTA doubles titles
- 2014 – Won three WTA doubles titles, including WTA Finals with Cara Black
- 2015 – First No. 1 season in doubles and became the first Indian woman to rise to No. 1 in either singles or doubles as well as the first Indian woman to lift a Grand Slam doubles title, at Wimbledon
- 2016 – Kicked off the season by recording 19 consecutive wins with Martina Hingis and won eight WTA doubles titles as well as reached Rio Olympics semi-finals with Rohan Bopanna in mixed doubles
- 2018 – Took a break from the professional tour after the 2017 season
- 2020 – Made a comeback and won the Hobart International alongside Nadiia Kichenok
- 2022 – Reached the semifinals at the WTA 1000 Qatar Open and the Italian Open as well as the French Open third round, partnering Lucie Hradecká.
- 2023: Announced her retirement with the last tournament being the WTA Dubai Tennis Championships in February. Ended her Grand Slam career with a loss in Australian Open mixed doubles final
There was nothing traditional about Sania’s groundbreaking journey, which she began as a teenager. Befitting her figure, she has dealt with criticism with the same courage and confidence she has dealt with many opponents on the pitch.
She knew how much her platform had affected her (Sania has her 10.9 million followers on Instagram and Naomi Osaka, the world’s highest-earning athlete, is her 2.7 million). She spoke out against domestic violence, the gender pay gap, female pregnancies and, most importantly, the stereotypes Indian women must face to succeed in professional sports.
She said, “I have her parents who have been telling me they want her to be like you because my daughter wanted to do something unconventional.
Sania is returning to Melbourne against all odds after the birth of her son Isaan, now four, and having reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon last year, she I’m back to compete on the Pro Tour.