Indian trailblazer Sania Mirza to quit tennis this year

Published January 19, 2022
In this file photo taken on December 13, 2021, India's tennis player Sania Mirza poses during the inauguration ceremony of the 3rd edition of the Tennis Premier League (TPL) in Mumbai. — AFP
In this file photo taken on December 13, 2021, India's tennis player Sania Mirza poses during the inauguration ceremony of the 3rd edition of the Tennis Premier League (TPL) in Mumbai. — AFP

Indian former doubles world number one Sania Mirza said on Wednesday she will retire from tennis at the end of this season with injuries taking their toll.

It came after the 35-year-old, regarded as her country's greatest women's tennis player, bowed out of the Australian Open in the first round with her partner Nadiia Kichenok of Ukraine.

“I have decided this will be my last season. I'm taking it week by week, not sure if I can last the season, but I want to,” she told press in Melbourne, in comments later confirmed to AFP by her father.

“I still feel I can play well, go deep into tournaments and all that. But beyond this season, I don't see my body do it either. It's beat.”

Mirza, who has won six Grand Slam doubles titles, is paired with America's Rajeev Ram in the mixed doubles at the Australian Open. They play on Thursday in the first round.

Read: Sania Mirza makes 'difficult decision' over son for Olympic call of duty

Mirza, who is married to former Pakistan cricket captain Shoaib Malik, last won a women's doubles title at the Ostrava Open in September, with China's Zhang Shuai.

But Mirza admits that injuries and a young family is drawing a curtain on her career.

“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,” she said.

“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.”

Mirza became the first Indian to win a WTA singles title, in 2005, in her hometown Hyderabad. She reached the fourth round of the US Open the same year and by 2007 was among the women's top 30.

But a wrist injury caused her to concentrate on doubles, forging a partnership with Swiss great Martina Hingis which produced three Grand Slam titles.

Opinion

Editorial

Updated 28 May, 2022

POL price shock

The state must look into exactly how much of an impact POL hikes have had on the prices of everyday items.
28 May, 2022

Changed laws

THERE will be much noise made over bills passed in the last two days by parliament to amend election and National...
28 May, 2022

Causing damage

FORMER prime minister Imran Khan’s remarks that he called off his protest, not because he had reached a deal but...
27 May, 2022

After the march

FORMER prime minister Imran Khan either ‘ran away’ from Islamabad or made a temporary, strategic retreat. It...
A tough decision
Updated 27 May, 2022

A tough decision

Decision to raise fuel prices will remove a major hitch of concluding a staff-level agreement with IMF.
27 May, 2022

Xinjiang files

QUESTIONS about the status of the Muslim Uighur people in China’s Xinjiang autonomous region often arise, with...