Friday, January 27, 2023

Ex-Pakistani skipper lauds Sania Mirza's dedication

Mirza played her last match in Australian Open, 18 years after her debut

Sania Mirza photographed during the Australian Open grand slam. — Instagram/mirzasaniar
Sania Mirza photographed during the Australian Open grand slam. — Instagram/mirzasaniar  

Former Pakistan captain Waqar Younis lauded Indian tennis star Sania Mirza’s passion, perseverance, and dedication as she bows out of professional tennis after a glowing career that spans almost two decades.

The Indian tennis star has ruled millions of hearts across the globe. Over the past several years, Sania’s success in tennis has won her love and adulation not simply in her home country but in Pakistan as well.

Since her announcement of her retirement plans earlier this month, fans worldwide have been going through an emotional rollercoaster along with the star.

Taking to Twitter, former cricketer Younis too showed his respect for Sania’s dedication to her profession stating: “What words come to mind when one thinks of Sania?"

"For me it’s passion, perseverance and sheer hard work. Congratulations Sania Mirza on an outstanding career and all the Best in your second innings #Legend #Tennis #Champion.”

The 36-year-old athlete, who played her first Grand Slam 18 years ago, is in Australia for the last Australian Open event of her career.

Speaking during her tear-jerking farewell speech earlier today, Sania couldn’t control her emotions and said: "I just want to start with that if I cry, these are happy tears and not sad tears so that’s just a disclaimer."

Sania also mentioned that while she would play a few more tournaments, she had resigned from professional tennis and concluded her speech by thanking everyone for their support. “Thank you so much for all the support all week guys and all my life, really. It’s been truly, truly special and I wouldn't have achieved anything without each and every single one of you.

“Thank you very much for everything and thank you, Australia for making me feel at home.”

The Australian Open Twitter account also shared a post lauding Sania for her dedication and success, saying: “A trailblazer for women in sport. Thank you, Sania”

In a heartfelt post on Instagram on January 13, Sania bid farewell to tennis, describing in the post the ups and downs of her career and sharing her feeling of pride and gratitude for her success in her career.

She also added that she intended to give more time to her son, Izhaan after retirement.

“My son needs me more than ever now and I can't wait to live a slightly quieter and calmer life while giving him more of my time than I have been able to give so far”.

From 2009 to 2016, Sania Mirza won six Grand Slam doubles titles – three each in the women’s doubles and mixed doubles. In 2015, she even became the world's No. 1 in the women’s doubles ranking.