Indian Tennis star Sania Mirza ended her 20-year long career with ‘happy tears’ at the Lal Bahadur Tennis Stadium in Hyderabad.
Nearly two decades ago Sania Mirza signaled her arrival on the big stage with a historic WTA singles title triumph at the Lal Bahadur Stadium in Hyderabad. And by playing in exhibition matches at the same venue Sania finally said goodbye to her illustrious career.
The matches featured Rohan Bopanna, Yuvraj Singh and her ‘best friend’ Bethanie Mettek Sands. The six-time Grand Slam winner (three in women’s doubles and as many in mixed doubles) played two mixed doubles exhibition matches and won both of them.
The games were watched by many eminent personalities, including Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju, former India cricket captain Mohammed Azharuddin, Robin Uthappa, Huma Qureshi, Dulquer Salmaan, her fans, family, friends, sporting personalities and students of the Sania Mirza Tennis Academy.
Having arrived at the venue in a swanky red car, the 36-year-old Sania was greeted by cheering fans, mostly schoolchildren. Some fans held placards that read ‘thank you for the memories’ and ‘we will miss you, Sania’. She said, “The greatest honour for me has been to play for my country for 20 years. It is every athlete’s dream to represent their country at the highest level. I was able to do that. It’s been 20-plus years. A lot of great things in my life started from this stadium here.”
After the matches, Sania was felicitated by Rama Rao and Telangana sports minister V Srinivas Goud. As fans cheered her, Sania turned emotional. “These are very, very happy tears. I could not have asked for a better send-off,” she said.