Sania Mirza’s run at the Australian Open came to an end in the quarterfinals on Tuesday, where she had paired with Rajeev Ram, losing 4-6, 6-7 to Australian wildcard entries Jaimee Fourlis and Jason Kubler in one hour and 30 minutes.
It also marked the final appearance for Mirza at Melbourne Park. The Indian tennis star announced last week that 2022 will be her final season on the tour since her body is “beat” and her energy for the daily grind is no longer the same, especially the constant travelling.
The former doubles and mixed doubles champion, however, said on Tuesday that the focus of discussion being around her retirement announcement rather than her performance itself is not something she is enjoying at the moment.
In a post-match interview with former tennis player Somdev Devvarman on Sony Sports Network, she said that her outlook towards tennis had not particularly changed simply because she was playing her last season and that she was still determined to give her hundred percent on the field.
“I made the announcement too soon, to be very honest. I’m kind of regretting it because that’s all I’m being asked about right now,” Mirza said.
The 35-year-old admitted that she wanted to simply enjoy the game, no matter what the result, and give everything to win.
“I am playing tennis to win matches, and until I play I am going to try and win every match I play. It’s not something [post-retirement outlook] that’s on my mind constantly. I enjoy playing tennis, win or lose.
“I still have the same outlook to it. I will give my 100%, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. But I’m still in it 100% for the rest of the year. I don’t really want to think about what’s going to happen at the end of the year. I still want to win everything I play,” she added.
In addition to winning the mixed doubles championship with Mahesh Bhupathi in 2009, Mirza had also clinched the women’s doubles title with Swiss star Martina Hingis in 2016. Her final appearance at the Australian Open was an opportunity for her second Australian Open mixed doubles title after she made an early exit in the first round of the women’s doubles last week.
Having lost the first set, the Indian-American duo took a lead in the second set, but Kubler and Fourlis produced a comeback with the set tied at 5-5. Eventually, it was the Kubler and Fourlis pair that prevailed and placed them in the Grand Slam semi-finals.
Reflecting on what was her last performance at the Melbourne Park, Mirza admitted that the duo was unable to string it together consistently.
“You don’t have a great day once in a while and it’s unfortunate when it happens at a Slam,” she said. “We didn’t take our chances, that’s it. I think we, at least, I could have played better, but it happens.”
Mirza also added that she was looking forward to help Indian tennis in any which way she can once her career comes to a close. Through her academy, she said she will help kids who need assistance.