On Tuesday (February 21), Sania Mirza played her last competitive game as she called it quits from tennis and ended her glorious career. Playing in the women’s doubles first-round of the Dubai Tennis Championship, along with Madison Keys, Sania and her American partner lost to Russian pair of Vernokia Kudermetova and Liudmila Samsonova in straight sets, 4-6, 0-6 to bow out with a loss. Sania remains an inspiration for many across the nation and in the entire tennis fraternity. Hence, reactions came in from all corners post her last game.
World number one Iga Swiatek also joined the bandwagon and reacted to Sania’s retirement. After the Indian sensation’s loss, the Polish star took to her official Twitter handle to ‘thank’ Sania for her overall contributions towards the game. She replied to a heartfelt video on Sania’s career, shared by WTA’s official account, and wrote:
Mahesh Bhupathi — with whom Sania won two of her three mixed-doubles title — also penned a heartfelt note for Sania. He claimed that he was proud of the Indian star and wrote, “Welcome to retirement @MirzaSania you outdid yourself time and time again both on and off the court â€¦. Proud of you !!”
Prior to her final appearance, the 36-year-old Sania revealed that tennis is an important part of her life but not her entire life. She told PTI, “For me, tennis was always and is always going to be a very, very large and big and important part of my life, but it is not my entire life. And that is the mindset I went with, even as a young girl and as a professional athlete. The worst that can happen is that you can lose a tennis match and then come back and try again.”
“So, the fear of losing was not there. And I think a lot of people become defensive because they have the fear of losing. They think ‘oh if we push the ball or put the ball inside the court, maybe we won’t lose’. But, in the long run, that doesn’t work to become a top athlete,” Sania added.
She ended her illustrious career with six Grand Slam titles, 43 career titles and was a former world number one in women’s doubles and ex-world number 27 in the singles category.