File image of Indian tennis great Sania Mirza© AFP
A glorious chapter and an illustrious career came to an end in Indian sport on Tuesday as Sania Mirza played her last match as a professional tennis player at the WTA Dubai Duty Free Championships. Sania, who is one of the greatest tennis players ever to emerge from India, closed her glorious career with a first round defeat, losing the contest in straight sets with American partner Madison Keys in Dubai Tuesday. Sania and Keys lost 4-6 0-6 to the formidable Russian pair of Vernokia Kudermetova and Liudmila Samsonova in exactly one hour. The 25-year-old Veronika is ranked 11th in singles and number five in the doubles while Liudmila is world number 13 in doubles.
The 36-year-old Sania, who turned professional in 2003, walks out of competitive tennis with six Grand Slam titles, including three women’s doubles with Swiss legend Martina Hingis.
She won two of her three mixed doubles with compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi (2009 Australian Open and 2012 French Open). She won the US Open trophy with Bruno Soares.
The breaks were traded at swift pace in the opening set which was locked at 4-4. From there, Kudermetova and Samsonova broke the pair of Sania and Keys one more time for a 5-4 lead, placing themselves in a position from where they could serve out the set.
They did that quite comfortably, losing one point in the 10th game.
Sania and her partner were broken in the very first game of the second set and it was one way traffic after that as they were bageled.
With PTI inputs
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