Melbourne ∙ ‘I might cry. But that’s because of happiness’ – the gallery returned the words of Sania Mirza after she was defeated in the mixed doubles final of the Australian Open by the gallery with a standing ovation equal to a winner. At the age of 36, the queen of Indian tennis, who reached the finals in her last Grand Slam championship, had an emotional farewell in Melbourne.
Joining Sania in the final battle was Rohan Bopanna, six years older, who was her first partner in professional tennis years ago. The Rod Laver Arena saw heartwarming moments as Brazil’s winning duo, Luisa Stefani and Rafael Matos, left the court to say goodbye to Sania after the match. Sania grabbed her four-and-a-half-year-old son, Ishaan, and kissed him as she jumped onto the court.
‘I never thought I would be able to play the Grand Slam final in front of my mother..! Sania’s parents, Bopanna’s wife and daughter were in the gallery to watch the match.
I remember playing a third round singles match against Serena Williams here in 2005. I was 18 years old then. I have come here many times since then. Win titles. I can’t think of a better venue to say goodbye to the Grand Slam.
Sania and Bopanna quit after fighting to a draw in the first set against the Brazilian duo, who were a decade younger than them. The Brazilian team won the second set easily. Match score: 7–6, 6–2. This was Sania’s last Grand Slam tournament as she announces her retirement from professional tennis with the Dubai Open next month. Sania has won 3 mixed doubles and women’s doubles each in Grand Slam tennis. The first title was in Melbourne in 2009 with Mahesh Bhupathi.
English summary : Sania-Bopanna lose in Aus Open mixed doubles final