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End of an era: Tennis superstar Sania Mirza announces retirement

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One of the most popular tennis players, Sania Mirza, announced her retirement plans on January 19.

About the announcement:

The player said that 2022 will be her last season since her body is “wearing down” and motivation and energy for the everyday grind is not the same anymore.

Mirza made the retirement announcement after losing the Australian open women’s doubles first round with partner Nadiia Kichenok.

35-year-old Mirza returned to tennis after giving birth to her son in March 2019 but her progress was later thwarted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Mirza’s statement:

While addressing a press conference Mirza said, “There’s a bunch of 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 do feel, considering my son is three years old, I’m putting him at risk by travelling so much with him, that’s something I have to take into account.”

“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,” she said.

While breaking her plans for retirement, Mirza revealed that the energy is not the same anymore and there are days when she doesn’t feel the motivation to come out. 

She proceeded saying, “Also for me to find that motivation everyday 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.”

About Sania Mirza:

Born on November 15, 1986 Sania Mirza to Hyderabadi Muslim parents Imran Mirza, a sports journalist, and his wife Naseema, who worked in a printing business.

Mirza  six Grand Slam titles in her career. She was ranked by the Women’s Tennis Association as India’s No. 1 player. Besides, she was named as one of the “50 Heroes of Asia” by Time in October 2005.

Tennis Career:

Sania Mirza began playing tennis at the age of six, turning professional in 2003. She was trained by her father. Mirza won 10 singles and 13 doubles titles as a junior player. She won the 2003 Wimbledon Championships Girls’ Doubles title, partnering Alisa Kleybanova. She also reached the semifinals of the 2003 US Open Girls’ Doubles, with Sanaa Bhambri, and the quarterfinals of the 2002 US Open girls’ doubles. 

On the senior circuit, Mirza started to show early success as she made her debut in April 2001 on the ITF Circuit as a 15-year-old. Her highlights of 2001 include a quarterfinals showing in Pune and a semifinal finish in New Delhi. As the 2002 season began, she turned around a season of early losses to winning three straight titles; her first in her hometown Hyderabad and the other two in Manila, Philippines.

She was appointed as the UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador for South Asia during the event held to mark the International Day To End Violence Against Women on 25 November 2013 and was named in Time magazine’s 2016 list of the 100 most influential people in the world. 

Mirza was honored with the Arjuna Award in 2004 and with Padma Shri in 2006. Further, she bagged the Padma Bhusan and Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award within her span of career. 

In the year 2014, the government of Telangana appointed Sania Mirza as the brand ambassador of the state. 

Moreover, Mirza has established a tennis academy in Hyderabad. Sania Mirza was announced the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador for South Asia. She is the first South Asian woman to be appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador in the organization’s history. 

Also Read: HYDERABAD GETS GEARED UP TO HOST FORMULA E WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FOR FIRST TIME IN INDIA

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