Sania Mirza (former Wimbledon doubles champion) has announced that she will be retiring from tennis in 2022.
Mirza’s remarks were made after losing her first round in the women’s doubles at the Australian Open.
“This will be my last season. It’s week by week. She told reporters that she was unsure if she could make it through the season, but she wanted to.
Mirza, now 35, was the first Indian to win a WTA singles title in 2005.
However, she was soon hindered by injury and focused on doubles. In 2015, she won Wimbledon with Martina Hingis from Switzerland. She then won the US Open and Australian Open.
She was close to winning an Olympics medal at Rio 2016 when Rohan Bopanna played semi-finals against Venus Williams, Rajeev Ram, and Rajeev Raj. But, ultimately, she lost.
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Image caption: Martina Hingis and Mirza won the Wimbledon doubles title in 2015
With Mahesh Bhupathi, she has won two Grand Slam titles – the 2009 Australian Open mixed doubles title and the 2012 French Open mixed doubles title.
Mirza began playing tennis during the summer holidays as a teenager, and she started to take it seriously when she began winning adult tournaments. She won her first senior title at the 2002 Asian Games, aged 15.
In 2003, she joined the WTA Tour. She later achieved a career-high singles ranking at 27 in the world. This is still the highest Indian woman’s singles ranking.
Mirza received much attention for her other life, including her marriage to Shoaib Malik, former Pakistan cricket captain. They have a son, aged three years old.
After two-year maternity leave, she returned to competitive tennis in 2019.
Mirza has almost 25 million followers on her Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. She is India’s most famous sportswoman.
Her inspiration to young women in a cricket-obsessed nation has been widely credited.
She was also well-known for her strong reactions to being trolled about issues like the choice of her partner and the clothes she wore.