Image Credit: Australia Open/ Twitter

Following the defeat in the Australian Open 2023 grand final, Sania Mirza concluded her illustrious grand slam career at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne with a second-place finish.

The 36-year-old tennis player confirmed her departure from Grand Slam competition after losing in the Australian Open mixed-doubles final while playing with Rohan Bopanna. During her last trip to Melbourne Park, Mirza and Bopanna lost 7-6 (7/2), 6-2 to Luisa Stefani and Rafael Matos.

After competing in the Dubai Tennis Championships in February 2023, Sania Mirza will end her tennis career. A retirement date for her was set toward the completion of the 2022 campaign. However, a season-ending elbow injury in August caused her to abandon her retirement plans since she wanted to leave on her terms.

Australia served as the perfect venue for Sania to cap off her Grand Slam Career

The most accomplished female tennis player from India seemed to have made the right decision by picking the right venue to end her illustrious Grand Slam career. It was 18 years ago in Melbourne that she played at her first Grand Slam, losing in the third round to 2005 champion Serena Williams. Four years later, at the Rod Laver Arena, Sania returned to Australia alongside Mahesh Bhupathi and won the 2009 Australian Open mixed doubles title, her first Grand Slam title.

At the age of 14, she played mixed doubles for the first time with Rohan Bopanna. The six-time Grand Slam champion claimed that since she regards Bopanna as one of her closest friends and partners, she could not picture playing the final with anybody else to round off her career. Furthermore, Sania won the French Open in 2012 and US Open in 2014 apart from also winning the Australian Open women’s doubles title back in 2016 and Wimbledon and the US Open women’s doubles crown in 2015.

Sania’s journey in her last grand slam came to a sad ending

Image Credit: Twitter

After defeating the Uruguayan-Japanese team of Ariel Behar and Makoto Ninomiya 6-4, 7-6 (11-9), the Indian mixed doubles team advanced to the quarterfinals.on Monday. As the number 10 seeds in the mixed doubles division at the Australian Open 2023 in Melbourne on Tuesday, the Indian mixed doubles duo received a walkover from their quarterfinal match against Jelena Ostapenko and David Vega Hernandez.

Sania’s tenacity was once again on display as the all-Indian duo defeated third seeds Desirae Krawczyk and Neal Skupski in the semifinal on Wednesday after an hour and 52 minutes long match. She confessed that she was on the verge of sobbing for likely the first time on a court after the victory and was visibly moved.

She was cheered up by the Indian fans in the audience, which included her family, as she performed a little victory lap with her kid, who joined her on the court. However, the India sensation’s fairytale ending was cut short when she and her mixed doubles partner Rohan Bopanna lost in the Mixed Doubles event final.

Nevertheless, she already had enough titles on her trophy cabinet to be dubbed the most iconic female tennis player in India. Fans admired Sania’s nostalgic forehand shots in the final and flocked to Twitter to share their views and memories of her stellar tennis career.