Sania Mirza ends her tennis career where her tennis journey began
Indian tennis legend Sania Mirza ended her breakthrough journey as a player on Sunday, where it all began with “tears of joy”.
Playing exhibition matches with Rohan Bopanna, Yuvraj Singh and her “best friend” Bethany Mattek-Sands, Ivan Dodig, Cara Black and Marion Bartoli, Sania finally said goodbye to her illustrious career at the Lal Bahadur Tennis Stadium, where she made her arrival known. almost two decades ago, a major milestone in winning the historic WTA singles title.
The exhibition matches were attended by dignitaries including Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju and former Indian cricket team captain Mohammed Azharuddin, Yuvraj Singh, Robin Uthappa, Ananya Birla, Huma Qureshi, Dulquer Salmaan, his fans, his family, friends, sports figures and students. . from Sania Mirza Tennis Academy.
36-year-old Sania, who arrived at the event in a beautiful red car, was greeted by her fans as well as dignitaries.
On this occasion, the six-time winner of the “Grand Slam” tournament – three – in women’s doubles and as much – in mixed doubles – was very emotional in her farewell speech and said that playing for the country for 20 years is the greatest honor for her.
The venue where she won memorable titles was given a festive look with banners like ‘Celebrating Sania Mirza’s Legacy’.
Some fans held signs that read, “Thanks for the memories” and “We’ll miss you, Sania.”
The crowd, mostly schoolchildren, gave him a standing ovation as he entered the court.
“I am very happy to play my last game in front of you all. I always wanted to show my appreciation by playing my last game in front of my home crowd in Hyderabad and I am very grateful to the Telangana government for giving me the opportunity. “, he said before the game.
“I came to Hyderabad to see off Sania Mirza, for the farewell match. I’m glad to see so many people coming to this. “Sania Mirza is an inspiration not only for Indian tennis but also for Indian sports,” said Rijiju, who was the Union Sports Minister earlier.
“When I was the sports minister, I interacted with Sania. I wish him success in his future projects,” he said.
After the match, Sania along with other players were felicitated by Telangana Ministers KT Rama Rao and V Srinivas Hood.
Thanking those who supported her along the way, Sania said: “The biggest honor for me is to play for my country for 20 years. Every athlete’s dream is to represent his country. at the highest level. I was able to do it.” “I want to thank everyone who came to the holiday. “I couldn’t have asked for a better farewell,” he says.
“More than 20 years have passed. Many things in my life started from this stadium. It has come a long way. It comes from a time when no one believed tennis was a choice. Be it a girl or a boy, especially for a girl from Hyderabad. Only my parents believed in me…my sister and my family,” he said.
He said there are people who say they can’t do it. “I don’t blame them for saying that 30 years ago (for example, no one thought we would be in a stadium full of people like this,” he said, adding that his parents and sister made him this way. . East.
Sania became emotional as her fans cheered her on.
“I didn’t expect to be emotional today. But these are actually tears of joy. “I couldn’t have asked for a better start,” he said.
Although she has retired, Sania said she will be a part of tennis and sports in India and Telangana.
He hoped that there would be “many, many seconds” in the country and that many great athletes would emerge from this stadium and this country. “I will stop playing tennis. But I will be a part of tennis. I will be a part of Indian sports and sports in Telangana for the rest of my life,” he said.
Former Indian cricket captain Mohd Azharuddin, whose son is married to Sania’s younger sister Anam, praised her contribution to tennis. “I think today we will say goodbye to Sania. What she has done for tennis, for women in India and all over the world, I think is exemplary. I wish him all the best,” Azharuddin said. “I know people want him to play more. But any career must come to an end. I think he made the right decision,” he added.
Several fans were saddened by Sania’s retirement from professional tennis.
Sama Chevika Reddy, Under-18 tennis player said, “Today was a special day for Sania. It was also a special moment for me to go on the court when he played the match here. “I’m very happy to play with him. They really inspired me and pushed me to be like them. I also felt happy when Ivan (Dodig) gave me the opportunity to play.”
“As a parent, I am also happy to see this congratulations. In fact, this program has motivated both players and parents. Sania encouraged our children to play. Soon these players will also do good things,” says G. Murali, father of tennis player G. Sukhya, who plays among teenagers.
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