Sania Mirza’s bid for a first title in 2022 came to an end in the final of the Charleston Open, as she and her Czech partner Lucie Hradecka lost 6-2, 4-6, 10-7 to Andreja Klepac and Magda Linette.
The former World No 1, who returned to the tour in 2020 after taking maternity leave had announced earlier this year that she will be retiring by the end of this season.
“I wanted this to be my last year. I’m not saying that with 100 percent (certainty), but probably yes it will be,” she said in an interview to the Charleston Open a few days ago.
“Only because my body is pretty beat up. My son is going to start to go to school soon, and for me not to travel with him is not really an option. I can leave him for a week or two, but long periods of times, I can’t do that – not for me.”
Despite this being her last year on tour, unless she changes her mind that is, Mirza has been steadily climbing back up the ranking ladder.
She had dropped down to 265 when she returned to the tour, but is currently on 34 after having put in a decent string of results this season.
She started the year with a semi-final finish at the Australian Open tune-up event in Adelaide, partnering Nadiia Kichenok to the semi-final. She later paired up Hradecka to reach back-to-back semi-finals in Dubai and Qatar, but went one round better at the American clay court event in Charleston.
The duo took care of the American team of Katie Volynets and Francesca Di Lorenzo 7-5, 7-6(5) in the first round, before getting a good win over third seeded team of Jessica Pegula and Alexa Guarachi in the quarterfinal, 3-6, 6-3, 10-6.
In their fourth semi-final this year, they came up against top seeds Zhang Shuai of China and American player Caroline Dolehide. But the veteran duo pulled off a stunning and gripping 6-2, 4-6, 10-8 win to get to their first final of the year.
Mirza is now expected to join the Indian team at he Billie Jean King Cup in Turkey, as the squad aims to get back to the World Group Playoffs for the second consecutive year.