Sania Mirza’s grand slam journey ends, struggles to hold back tears

The only women tennis star Sania Mirza brought an end to her illustrious Grand Slam journey on Friday with a runners-up finish as she lost the Australian Open Mixed Doubles final.

She has won six Grand Slam doubles titles, including three mixed doubles trophies. She won the mixed doubles titles at the 2009 Australian Open and 2012 French Open with Mahesh Bhupathi, and the 2014 US Open with Brazilian Bruno Soares.

The Brazilian pair of Luisa Stefani and Rafael Matos emerged triumphant, beating the Indian duo of Sania and her friend Rohan Bopanna 7-6, 6-2 in the final, securing their maiden Australian Open title. After the conclusion of the game, Sania greeted the Brazilian pair, lauding them for the deserved win. But, as she started to speak about her journey, the ace tennis star struggled to hold back tears.

Sania had already announced that she would be ending her Grand Slam journey with the Australian Open 2023. The 36-year-old athlete, however, does have plans to play a few more events before she pulls curtains on her illustrious career.She is scheduled to play her final tournament at the WTA 1000 event in Dubai next month.

“Rohan was my first-ever mixed doubles partner when I was 14 and we won the Nationals. It was 22 year ago and I couldn’t think of a better person — he’s my best friend and one of my best partners — to finish my career,” Sania said, thanking Bopanna, who has one French Open mixed doubles title to his credit.

It was the 11th Grand Slam final of Sania career. She has won a total of 43 doubles titles – including six Grand Slams – and has also been ranked the WTA No. 1 player for 91 weeks in the women’s doubles category.

Bopanna, on the other hand, was into his 4th Grand Slam final, having won one title, while playing alongside Timea Babos at the 2017 French Open.