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Indian tennis star Sania Mirza says she will retire after 2022 season

  • News Desk,
    Published: 2022-01-20 12:50:46 BdST

Mirza of India and Hingis of Switzerland celebrate after defeating Dellacqua of Australia and Shvedova of Kazakhstan in the women's doubles final match at the US Open Championships tennis tournament in New York. Reuters

Former Wimbledon doubles champion Sania Mirza, one of India's most celebrated sports stars, has announced she will retire from tennis after 2022.

Mirza's comments came after her first-round loss in the women's doubles in the Australian Open, according to a report by BBC.

"I've decided that this will be my last season. I'm taking it week by week. Not sure if I can last the season, but I want to," the report quoted the tennis star as saying.

Mirza, 35, became the first Indian to win a WTA singles title in 2005.

But injury soon forced her to concentrate on doubles - in 2015 she won at Wimbledon with Swiss player Martina Hingis, then went on to win the US and Australian Opens.

She came close to securing an Olympics medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics when she and Rohan Bopanna played the semi-finals against Venus Williams and Rajeev Ram, but eventually lost.

She has also won two Grand Slam titles with partner Mahesh Bhupathi - the 2009 Australian Open mixed doubles title and the French Open 2012 mixed doubles.

Mirza started playing tennis as a teenager, but took it up seriously after she began winning adult tournaments. She picked up her first senior title aged 15 at the 2002 Asian Games.

She entered the WTA Tour in 2003 and later reached a career-high singles ranking of 27 in the world, still the highest by an Indian woman.

Mirza also received plenty of attention for her life outside tennis - including for her marriage to former Pakistan cricket captain Shoaib Malik. The couple have a three-year-old son.

In 2019, she returned to competitive tennis after a two-year maternity break.