Sania Mirza, a tennis player from India, lost in the opening round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Tuesday, capping off a glorious 20-year career.
In the women’s doubles round, the 36-year-old Indian great was defeated in straight sets by American partner Madison Keys. After an hour-long battle, the pair lost 4-6, 0-6 against Veronika Kudermetova and Liudmila Samsonova of Russia.
Mirza, a mother of a 4-year-old kid named Izhaan and a pro since 2003, finished her illustrious career with six Grand Slam trophies.
Three of those happened when Martina Hingis of Switzerland and I played women’s doubles. The other three were won in mixed doubles; the other was a US Open trophy with Bruno Soares. The other two were won with fellow countryman Mahesh Bhupathi (2009 Australian Open and 2012 French Open).
After losing in the Australian Open mixed doubles final with Rohan Bopanna, Sania was prevented from having a Cinderella Grand Slam career.
Sania Mirza has been hired by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as the team’s mentor for the Women’s Premier League (WPL) 2023, the club announced on Wednesday. Six-time Grand Slam champion Sania, in the opinion of the team, fits the RCB Play Bold attitude well.
“Be it cricket or tennis, athletes are made of the same grain, fiercely competitive, love their sport and face pressure situations in their game. Sania Mirza has done just that for 20 years across her illustrious career of 6 Grand Slams & 43 WTA Titles,” RCB said in a media.
As per RCB, Sania’s stature as one of the leading role models for innumerable women prompted the team management to onboard her to motivate and encourage the women’s team.
“It is a pleasure for me to join the RCB women’s team as a mentor. Indian women’s cricket has seen a tectonic shift with the Women’s Premier League, and I am really looking forward to being a part of this revolutionary pitch. RCB and its brand philosophy perfectly resonates with my vision and outlook as that’s how I have approached my playing career and it’s also how I see contributing to sports post my retirement,” said Sania.
“RCB has been a popular team and much followed team in the IPL over the years. I am immensely happy to see them building a team for the Women’s Premier League as it will push the women’s sports to new heights in the country, open new doors to women cricketers and help make sports the first career choice for young girls and young parents with a girl child,” she added.
Meanwhile, Rajesh V Menon, Head and Vice President of Royal Challengers Bangalore, said that Mirza, who has been honoured with Padma Bhushan, Arjuna Award and Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna, is the perfect role model.
“We are glad and honoured to welcome Sania Mirza as mentor of the RCB women’s team. She is the perfect role model with her success stemming out of her sheer hard work, passion, and determination, despite many challenges in her playing career,” said Menon.