Ace Indian tennis star Sania Mirza officially announced on Wednesday (January 19) that 2022 is going to be her last season on the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) tour after her first-round defeat at the Australian Open in women's doubles.
Mirza and her partner Nadiia Kichenok from Ukrainian, seeded 12th, faced a 4-6, 6-7 defeat to the unseeded Slovenian pair of Tamara Zidansek and Kaja Juvan in a clash that lasted an hour and 36 minutes.
"There's a few reasons for it. It's not as simple as 'okay I'm not going to play'. I do feel my recovery is taking longer, I'm putting my three-year-old son at risk by travelling so much with him, that's something I have to take into account. I think my body is wearing down. My knee was really hurting today and I'm not saying that's the reason we lost but I do think that it is taking time to recover as I'm getting older," Sania told broadcasters after the match at Melbourne Park.
Furthermore, she added that it is getting tough for her to find the motivation every day to come out, and the energy is also not the same anymore. Sania also stated that she wants to play until she is enjoying the grind, but the current process is not sure she is enjoying anymore.
An Inspiration For Generations
35-year-old Sania reached World No.1 in doubles on April 13, 2015– the pinnacle of WTA Rankings, had a career-best ranking of 27 in singles, and currently holds the 68th rank in the world.
Scripting history after becoming the first Indian woman tennis star to win a Grand Slam, Sania has won Majors in doubles and medals at Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. Her last Grand Slam came during the 2016 Australian Open with Martina Hingis, where the pair showed tremendous grit and drive.
This is why Sania Mirza, quite simply, is India's very-first female tennis megastar!
Some Of Sania Mirza's Notable Feats
In her pro-career, Sania has bagged 14 medals across multiple sporting events. The female tennis star also won six gold medals for India. Furthermore, Sania also won seven medals across numerous editions of the Asian Games in both mixed doubles and women's categories. During the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, she also clinched the Women's Singles silver medal and Women's Doubles bronze medal.
Not only that, Sania Mirza remains the only female Indian tennis star to win a WTA title of any sort. The now 35-year-old has won the WTA Finals on two occasions, first with Cara Black in 2014 and then in 2015 -- where she successfully defended her crown with the help of partner Martina Hingis.
Sania won the 2009 Australian Open and the 2012 French Open after pairing up with fellow Indian tennis star Mahesh Bhupati. Her third mixed doubles crown at the Slams during the 2014 US Open, where she teamed up with Brazil's Bruno Soares.
To date, Sania remains one of the best doubles players India managed to produce. In 2015, the duo of Mirza and Hingis won the Wimbledon and US Open titles, after which The pair went on to secure their third Grand Slam title with an iconic victory at the 2016 Australian Open.
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