The former doubles world No.1, has won six Grand Slam titles in her career
India’s tennis icon, Sania Mirza announced her retirement plans today. The 35-year old made the announcement after exiting from the first round of the women’s doubles at the Australian Open.
Sania Mirza made her debut back in 2003 and garnered a quick following. She quickly climbed to World No.1 ranking, winning a total of 6 Grand Slam titles, with three of them in mixed doubles. In singles, Mirza’s highest ranking stood at 27 in 2007.
Sensational Sania! 👌
In a career laden with breath-taking moments, Sania Mirza served some quality tennis at the Rio 2016 Olympics; a run that saw her reach mighty close to a medal in the mixed doubles.#SaniaMirza | @MirzaSania pic.twitter.com/5xMBmL7mdA
— Olympic Khel (@OlympicKhel) January 19, 2022
According to the tennis ace, she had made up her mind at the end of 2021, before playing in her 14th Australian Open. This is the same stage she won her last Slam at back in 2016, with Martina Hingis.
Mirza was quoted saying, “I was very sure that this was going to be my last season when I started the year or even in December. Just the way my body is playing, I don’t think I can finish the season. I want to play the full season, I’m still 50-60 in the world, I played nine tournaments last year. I do think I have the level to play, it’s not about that. As an athlete, I think I can go deep into tournaments.”
“I have a bit of a meniscus issue going on my right knee, woke up with wrist pain a couple of days ago. At 35, I am waking up with a couple of things that I don’t know where they’re coming from! I want to finish the season, to at least play until US Open, that is my goal. But I still have to take it week-to-week,” she continued.
Sania is still in contention for the mix Slam at the Australian Open, where she’ll team up with Rajeev Ram from the USA.
Speaking to the broadcasters, she further added, “There are 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,”
“Also for me to find that motivation everyday to come out. The energy is not the same anymore. There are more days than there used to be where I don’t feel like doing that. I’ve always said that I will play until I enjoy that grind, the process which I’m not sure I’m enjoying as much anymore,” she added.
“Having said that, I still want to play the season because I’m enjoying it enough to play the year. I’ve worked very hard to come back, get fit, lose the weight and try to set a good example for mothers, new mothers to follow their dreams as much as they can. Beyond this season, I don’t feel my body doing it. It’s beat.”
— Angel (@SalariaNitika) January 19, 2022
I think her voice shook towards the end. There were a couple of us at press and we were suitably shocked, but we picked ourselves up for the follow-up questions!
I am going to miss this girl, but at least we have this year! @imrandomthought
— Prajwal Hegde (@prajhegde) January 19, 2022