Sania Mirza announces retirement: 2022 will be her final season on the WTA tour

India’s tennis ace Sania Mirza on Wednesday has announced that 2022 will be her final season on the WTA tour.

Sania’s announcement came after her first-round loss in women’s doubles.

Sania and her partner Ukrainian partner Nadiia Kichenok, lost 4-6 6-7(5) to the Slovenian team of Tamara Zidansek and Kaja Juvan in one hour and 37 minutes. Kichenok was off-colour today as unforced errors kept flowing from her racquet throughout the contest.

“There’s a few 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’m putting my 3-year-old son at risk by travelling so much with him, that’s something I have to take into account. I think 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,” Sania said after the broadcasters after the match.

“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,” adds Sania, who is the first Indian woman to win a Grand Slam, has won Majors in doubles along with medals at Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.

Sania,35, is a former world No. 1 in doubles and had a career-best ranking of 27 in singles. She is currently ranked 68th in the world.

Sania Mirza’slast grand slam came at the 2016 Australian Open with Martina Hingis. Her last title came in September 2021, when she won her 43rd doubles trophy at the Ostrava Open with Shuai Zhang.

“I was very sure that this was going to be my last season when I started the year or even in December. Just the way my body is playing, I don’t think I can finish the season. I want to play the full season, I’m still 50-60 in the world, I played nine tournaments last year. I do think I have the level to play, it’s not about that. As an athlete, I think I can go deep into tournaments,” says the three-time women’s doubles and mixed sdoubles Grand Slam winner.

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