Sania Mirza bids farewell to her 20-year tennis career, loses her last match in Dubai
Indian tennis icon Sania Mirza on Tuesday ended her glorious 20-year-long career with a defeat in the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. She lost in straight sets along with American partner Madison Keys in women's doubles tie. The pair went 4-6 0-6 down to the formidable Russian pair of Vernokia Kudermetova and Liudmila Samsonova in exactly one hour.
The breaks from either pair were nullified in the opening set, leaving the score level at 4-4 before Kudermetova and Samsonova broke from the second time to take a 5-4 lead and subsequently served out the set comfortably where they lost just one point in the 10th game.
Sania and Keys failed to find rhythm in the second set as they were broken early and couldn't recover from the blow. The second set remained a lopsided affair after that as they were bageled.
The 36-year-old India legend, who had turned pro back in 2003, ended her magnificent career with six Grand Slam trophies. Three of those came in women's doubles with Swiss great Martina Hingis. The other three were in mixed doubles, two of which were with compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi - 2009 Australian Open and 2012 French Open - while the other one was a US Open trophy with Bruno Soares.
Earlier last month, Sania was denied a fairytale ending to her Grand Slam career after she lost in the Australian Open mixed doubles final with Rohan Bopanna. The Indian duo went 6-7(2) 2-6 down to Brazilian pair of Luisa Stefani and Rafael Matao in the summit clash at the Rod Laver Arena.