Doubles and mixed doubles tennis sensation from India, Sania Mirza announced today her retirement after the 2022 WTA tour. The announcement came after her first-round loss in women’s doubles. Sania and her Ukrainian partner Nadiia Kichenok, lost 4-6 6-7(5) to the Slovenian team of Tamara Zidansek and Kaja Juvan in 1 h and 37 min. Kichenok was off-colour today as unforced errors kept flowing from her racquet throughout the contest.
“There are a few reasons for it. It’s not as simple as ‘okay, I’m not going to play’. I do feel my recovery is taking longer. I’m putting my 3-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. 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,” Sania said after the broadcasters after the match.
“Also for me to find that motivation every day to come out. The energy is not the same anymore. There are more days than there used to be where I don’t feel like doing that. I’ve always said that I will play until I enjoy that grind, the process which I’m not sure I’m enjoying as much anymore,” Sania, who is the first Indian woman to win a Grand Slam, has won Majors in doubles along with medals at Asian Games and Commonwealth Games, said.
Now 35-year-old, Sania is a former world No. 1 in doubles. She had a career-best ranking of 27 in singles. She is currently ranked 68th in the world.
Sania Mirza’s last grand slam came at the 2016 Australian Open with Martina Hingis. Her last title came in September 2021, when she won her 43rd doubles trophy at the Ostrava Open with Shuai Zhang.
“I was very sure that this was going to be my last season when I started the year or even in December. Just the way my body is playing, I don’t think I can finish the season. I want to play the full season, I’m still 50-60 in the world, I played nine tournaments last year. I do think I have the level to play, it’s not about that. As an athlete, I think I can go deep into tournaments,” says the three-time women’s doubles and mixed doubles Grand Slam winner.
Sania Mirza: Personal life
In 2009, Sania Mirza became engaged to childhood friend Sohrab Mirza. However, the wedding was called off shortly after.
On 12 April 2010, she married Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik in a traditional Hyderabadi Muslim wedding ceremony at the Taj Krishna Hotel in Hyderabad, India followed by Pakistani wedding customs for a mahr of Rs 6.1 million ($ 137,500). Their Walima ceremony was held in Sialkot, Pakistan.
According to Google Trends, the online attention the wedding received made Mirza the most-searched woman tennis player and Indian sportsperson in 2010.
The couple announced their first pregnancy on social media on 23 April 2018. In October 2018, Shoaib Malik announced on Twitter that Mirza had delivered a baby boy and named him Izhaan Mirza Malik.