Sania Mirza, the former doubles world No.1, has closed her Grand Slam career on Friday, at the Australian Open. She and her mixed doubles partner, Rohan Bopanna, lost to Luisa Stefani and Rafael Matos in the mixed doubles final.
Despite not getting the fairytale ending she had hoped for, Mirza is content with the fact that she is ending her career on her own terms. She said that winning one more Grand Slam title would not have changed much in her life, and that it’s more important to her how she’s doing it. Mirza also stated that after having a child, the perspective on winning and losing tennis matches changes.
“For me, whether I win six Grand Slams or seven Grand Slams, that wasn’t going to change much in my life, right? Sure, on the record books maybe another Slam, but for me, it’s more important how I’m doing it,” Mirza said.
“Today I’m here, sitting after a Grand Slam final, knowing that I still have the level to make it to a Grand Slam final. I’m choosing to say that I want other things, and that is very important for me. I feel like after you have a child, especially, winning and losing tennis matches, it really puts things into perspective of how small or big that is.”, she added.
Mirza is set to play two more tournaments on the Hologic WTA Tour next month, first at the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open with Bethanie Mattek-Sands and then her final tournament at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships with Madison Keys.
“I don’t really feel relief, so to say,” Mirza said. “I’m going to miss it. I’m going to miss walking on big courts, miss competing and trying to win, and, in some way, even losing, looking back on the court and fight and come back again.
“But I still feel I have a couple more tournaments and I want to play. But it’s tough for me to accept in this very moment that I’m not coming back here because I have been coming here for 20 years.”
Asked what advice she has for young aspiring tennis players back home in India, Mirza kept her advice simple:
“Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something, even if nobody else has done it before,” she said.
Mirza has had a successful 20-year career, winning multiple accolades and being the first Indian woman to hold the No.1 ranking on the WTA Tour.