"if I cry, these are happy tears and not sad tears"
After losing in the mixed doubles final at the Australian Open, Sania Mirza became emotional as her final Grand Slam match was over.
She and Rohan Bopanna lost in the mixed doubles final to Brazilian pair Luisa Stefani and Rafael Matos 7-6 (7/2), 6-2.
Bopanna was Mirza’s first doubles partner 22 years ago in 2001.
Before the tournament, Mirza said she would retire from tennis after the WTA 1,000 event in Dubai in February 2023.
Mirza also stated that the Australian Open would be her final Grand Slam appearance.
“My professional career started in Melbourne… I couldn’t think of a better arena to finish my [Grand Slam] career at.”
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 27, 2023
During her farewell speech, Sania Mirza became emotional.
She 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.
“Rohan was my first-ever mixed-doubles partner at (aged) 14 and we won the nationals.
“It was a long time ago, 22 years ago, and I couldn’t think of a better person.
“He’s one of my best friends and best partners to finish my career here and to play the final.
“There’s no better place for me, or person for me, to finish my Grand Slam career.”
The tennis star shed light on her career, saying that her journey began in Melbourne:
“It started in Melbourne in 2005 when I played Serena Williams in the third round here as an 18-year-old, and that was scary enough 18 years ago.
“I’ve had the privilege to come back here again and again and win some tournaments here and play some great finals amongst you all and this Rod Laver Arena has been special in my life.
“I couldn’t think of a better arena to finish my career at in a Grand Slam. Thank you so much for making me feel at home here.
“It wasn’t the same arena as this one, but it was a long time ago.”
Sania revealed that her family watched her play her final Grand Slam match.
“I never thought that I would be able to play in front of my child in a Grand Slam finals, so it’s truly special for me to have my four-year-old here.
“My parents are here, Rohan’s wife is here, Scotty, everyone, my trainers, my family from Australia, who made me feel like a home away from home.
“Thank you very much for everything and thank you, Australia for making me feel at home.”
When she does retire, Sania Mirza plans to focus on her tennis academies.
Away from tennis, she has been co-hosting The Mirza Malik Show with her husband Shoaib Malik.