Sania bids farewell to tennis

Wednesday 01st March 2023 05:32 EST

At the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, Sania Mirza bid an emotional farewell to the world stage as a golden glow lit up the breathtaking setting. That was the kind of career it was. In their first-round match, Sania and her close friend Madison Keys lost to Veronika Kudermetova and Liudmila Samsonova of Russia 4-6, 0-6.
A TV audience that would span the continent was swiftly set up on Court No. 3 at the tennis facility next to the Irish Village. Because it was the busiest day of the tournament, Sania's match had no alternative but to be played on a smaller court.
The stand on the outside court was packed, friends from Hyderabad, fans from the Emirates and there was a huge queue at the gates, as the 36-year-old, a six-time major winner, prepared for her last dance, both her calves taped.
The Indo-American combination was the superior team for the first six games of the match. In the second game of the opening set, a Samsonova second serve that landed in the middle of the court gave the Indo-American combination an opportunity to break. It's impossible to predict how the match would have turned out if they had maintained their serve, but after they were broken in the seventh game, everything started to go south.
She came into the press shortly after and lit the lines. For the one last time as a pro-athlete. “If there was some way I could just come out and compete without having to put the work in, I would take it,” she said smiling, her dark eyes clearing dramatically.
“The amount of work that goes in to taking care of my body, the mental, emotional part of it, is just something that I don’t have the drive for.”
“If you love something so much, you shouldn’t have to push yourself that much.”
“I feel a lot of gratitude today. To be able to do this on my own terms,” the 36-year-old said, her four-year-old son perched on her lap.

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