Sania Mirza: Indian tennis celebrity is enjoying her final match after an illustrious profession of 20 years



It is by no means simple realizing when to say goodbye to a 20-year skilled profession, however six-time Grand Slam winner and tennis legend Sania Mirza says her retirement this week is basically on her “personal phrases”.

The 36-year-old Indian star performed her remaining skilled match on Tuesday on the Dubai Responsibility Free Tennis Championships the place she, together with doubles accomplice Madison Keys, misplaced 6-Four 6-Zero to Veronika Kudermetova and Lyudmila Samsonova. Mirza had earlier introduced his retirement earlier this yr.

“I really feel very grateful as we speak. I’ll nonetheless be round tennis. It is simply not competing,” Mirza informed reporters.

The mom of four-year-old son Izhaan, the star additionally has plans to mentor the ladies’s Royal Challengers Bangalore cricket workforce.

In accordance For the workforce, Mirza will “information our ladies cricketers on the way to excel beneath stress.”

“The entire idea of me being there has nothing to do with cricket,” Mirza informed the WTA web site. “It actually offers with the psychological facet of issues with these little women.

“They’ve by no means been in positions the place they’d careers, a lot cash, thousands and thousands using on them. Lots of them have not been on TV, have not carried out commercials, have not shot. Distracted by that stuff It is really easy to be. It is also simple to get confused and really feel pressured as a result of there are such a lot of expectations from you.”

Former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka informed the WTA web site that Mirza’s efficiency for India, “on the sphere right here, is totally outstanding.”

“Little women who did not actually have any position fashions earlier than can now see what’s attainable,” Azarenka mentioned. “I feel it is priceless. It’ll be his legacy.

After turning skilled in 2003, Mirza turned the primary Indian lady to win a WTA title in 2005 at her hometown occasion, the Hyderabad Open.

The appropriate-handed Mirza excelled in singles, reaching a career-high No. 27 earlier than specializing in doubles, profitable the blended doubles on the French Open in 2012 and the US Open two years later.

After pairing up with Swiss Martina Hingis in 2015, Mirza gained three majors in a row, profitable Wimbledon and the US Open and the Australian Open in 2016.

In 2015, she reached No. 1 in doubles and have become the primary Indian lady to carry the No. 1 rating on the WTA Tour, and was the year-end No. 1 in doubles for each 2015 and 2016.

When Mirza was youthful, folks typically expressed their disapproval of her enjoying tennis to her dad and mom.

“Individuals got here up and mentioned, ‘Do not you waste your cash, do not you assume she ought to turn into a health care provider, do not you assume you need to spend all this cash on her schooling?'” Mirza informed CNN in 2015. informed.

“Once I used to say, ‘In the future I wish to play Wimbledon’, it was handled as a joke as a result of it had not occurred earlier than.

Mirza leaves behind a remarkable legacy - both on and off the court.

“Sport at all times teaches you that regardless of how exhausting the chances are towards you, you may overcome them. My life is an ideal instance of what it means to beat obstacles. Once I began enjoying tennis, Individuals didn’t imagine that sports activities may very well be a career for a woman from Hyderabad.

“Lots of people (say to me) on a regular basis, ‘You’re the first lady to do that, you’re the first Indian to do that – man or lady,'” Mirza mentioned.

“It is not one thing I consciously take into consideration each time I step onto the court docket, however I do know behind my head I’ve performed a bit bit and I really feel privileged to say that, and I Proud to say that I’ve been part of a change.

“I feel what’s very particular is how strange folks give it some thought, the general public. Should you have a look at it in perspective, it appears very small, profitable a tennis match in life.

“On the finish of the day, although, it is wonderful as a result of it ties everybody collectively and it has been very particular for me to present this again to the nation.”

Mirza and Martina Hingis of Switzerland celebrate with the trophy after winning the women's doubles final at Wimbledon in 2015.

Mirza additionally discovered herself on the heart of a number of controversies throughout her profession.

There was a lot criticism in 2005 for carrying a skirt on court docket – which is routine for feminine gamers – but it surely pales compared to the condemnation she obtained in 2010 for marrying former Pakistan cricket captain Shoaib Malik. Relations between neighboring India and Pakistan have been strained for a very long time.

“I’ve had lots of controversies for lots of various causes,” says Mirza, who’s a Muslim. “The truth that I’ve come this far has been a fantastic studying expertise. It has made me the individual I’m as we speak and it has made me a stronger and really mature individual.”

She leaves tennis within the hope that she has impressed her countrymen and girls.

“I feel India has produced a few of our greatest superstars outdoors of cricket from ladies, be it in badminton, boxing or wrestling. Within the final two Olympics, ladies have gained extra medals than males.

“I feel what tennis has dropped at me over the previous 20 years is what I’ve given to it. It has additionally given me again double.”

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