Sania Mirza retirement
Sania Mirza struggled to hold back her tears as she delivered her final speech at the Rod Laver Arena. She reached the final of her final Grand Slam at the Australian Open, and she did so with her customary assurance and modesty. If I weep, they will be joyful tears, not sad ones, she said.
She and her countryman Rohan Bopanna were beaten 6-7 (2), 2-6 by Luisa Stefani and Rafael Matos of Brazil in the championship match in Melbourne. She was unable to take the trophy, but the stage—one of tennis’ most recognisable courts was a perfect place for her departure.
The Grand Slam’s final rounds are where Sania Mirza belongs. With six championships, she is one of India’s most successful players at this point in its history. She had won the Australian Open twice, once in mixed doubles with Mahesh Bhupathi in 2009 and once in women’s doubles with Martina Hingis in 2016her final Major triumph.
The 36-year-ground-breaking old’s accomplishments as a young woman on the singles circuit will always be what define her career, despite all the amazing highs she witnessed in her career on the doubles tour.
The most memorable moment of Sania Mirza’s career was actually a 1-6, 4-6 loss in the third round at Melbourne Park back in 2005, when an 18-year-old Sania Mirza faced the best rival in the sport, the six-time Grand Slam doubles winner revealed following her semifinal victory on Wednesday.
Even though I lost that match and was sent flying off the court, playing Serena (Williams) here when I was 18 remains for me the most memorable experience, she said following Wednesday’s semifinal victory.
“Honestly, it is when the notion that this is where I belong and where I want to be was planted there. Even though Serena won the competition that year, it let me think that my desire as a young Indian girl to compete in the slams and attempt to win them came true for me in 2005.
And 2005 would turn out to be a turning point for her. In Hyderabad, she went on to win her maiden WTA championship, making it the only ATP or WTA singles title ever won by an Indian. Later that year, at the US Open, the 19-year-old would go on to make further history, becoming the first Indian woman to compete in the second round of a Grand Slam and losing in the fourth round. Ramesh Krishnan in 1987 had previously achieved the longest run by an Indian at a Major singles tournament.
Sania Mirza was India’s top singles player for ten years before switching to just playing doubles; she achieved a career-high ranking of World No. 27 in 2007.
She spent as the World No. 1 doubles player for nineteen weeks, the 43 doubles championships she won on the circuit, and the legendary, thundering forehand that left many opponents in its wake would not be the whole of her influence. Sania MirzaMirza was the shining example of women’s sport in the twenty-first century, long before names like Mary Kom, PV Sindhu, and Saina Nehwal would become well-known internationally.
Sania faced criticism that most people would not have to since she is a young Muslim lady competing in a commercial sport that is aired across the world. She has had to deal with a variety of criticism. To conform to traditional gender norms, her appearance and clothing choices were constantly scrutinised in court. She was once absurdly accused of disrespecting the national flag, her patriotism was called into question because she married a Pakistani cricket player, and she was asked when she planned to settle down and have a family.
Sania Mirza’s pathbreaking journey, which she had already started by the time she was a teenager, was never conventional, and true to style, she responded to the criticism with the same brash confidence with which she has faced so many rivals on the court.
She was aware of the power her platform provided her (Sania has 10.9 million Instagram followers, compared to Naomi Osaka, the highest-paid female athlete in the world, who has 2.7 million). She spoke out against misconceptions Indian women must overcome in order to succeed in professional athletics, as well as against domestic abuse, gender wage inequalities, and female foeticide.
She told the Straits Times, proudly, before the final in Melbourne, “There are parents who have come and said, ‘Oh, you know that my young girl wants to do something out of the box and we want her to be like you.
Despite all odds, Sania Mirza returned to professional tennis after giving birth to her son Izhaan, who is now four years old and has joined her in Melbourne. Sania Mirza even made it to the Wimbledon semifinals the previous year.
She planned to hang up her racquet in 2022, thus the mixed doubles semifinal at SW19 was to be her final Major performance. However, an injury prevented her from retiring on her terms, forcing her to compete until the WTA 1000 tournament in Dubai the following month, which will be her final tournament.
Sania Mirza had one last opportunity for success as a result of her decision, which was typical of her desire to carve her own path rather than accept the situation she finds herself in. Just like she had done so many times before, she fired the shot.