Sunday Jan 29, 2023
Indian tennis star Sania Mirza was "actually surprised" at her return to her home in Dubai as her friends and family planned a surprise celebration for her at the end of her 18-year-long grand slam career.
The 36-year-old athlete, who was in Melbourne for the Australian Open, returned to Dubai as she bowed out of the Grand Slam tennis.
Sania shared the videos and photos of the surprise celebrations on Instagram and wrote: "When you come home to this and realise you have the best friends and family in the world. My Dubai Fam. Thank you, guys, Ps: For a change, I was surprised."
In the videos, the tennis star could be seen coming into her house with her son Izhaan Mirza-Malik. The guests welcome her saying "surprise", with bouquets in their hands. The athlete then enters the house and hugs the guests.
The tennis trailblazer bid farewell to the sport in an emotional goodbye earlier this month. During her farewell speech at the Australian Open, she was overwhelmed with emotions.
Speaking during her tear-jerking farewell speech, 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."
"It wasn't the same arena like this one, but it was a long time ago. It was 22 years ago, and I couldn't think of a better person. He's one of my best friends and one of my best partners to finish my career here and to play the final. Obviously, we couldn't get over the line but there's no better place for me and a person for me to finish my Grand Slam career. So thank you, Rohan, for playing," she said.
The star thanked 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," said Sania.
Concluding her speech, she said: "Thank you very much for everything and thank you, Australia for making me feel at home."