Sania Mirza wrote a heartfelt note confirming her decision to retire after the Dubai Masters after playing her last Australian Open in an instagram post on Friday.

After a 2022 season marred by injuries, Mirza, a former World No 1 in women’s doubles, said that Dubai will in fact be her last competition in an interview with WTA last week. The 36-year-old had intended to retire at the end of 2022 but an elbow injury forced her to end her season as early as August and prevented her from competing in the US Open.

She wrote in her post: “Thirty (yes, 30!) years ago a 6 year old girl from Nasr School in Hyderabad, walked on to a tennis court at Nizam Club with her young mom and fought the coach to let her learn how to play tennis as he thought that she was too little. The fight for our dreams began at 6!”

She added, “My Grand Slam journey started with the Australian Open back in 2005. So, it goes without saying that this would be the most perfect Grand Slam to end my career with.

“As I get ready to play my last Australian Open 18 years after I played my first, and then the Dubai Open in Feb, have so many emotions flashing through me with pride and gratitude, perhaps, being the foremost. I take pride in everything have been able to achieve over the last 20 years of my professional career and I am so grateful for the memories that I have been able to create. The greatest memory that I will carry with me for a life time is that of the pride and happiness that I saw on the faces of my fellow countrymen and supporters each time I achieved victory and reached milestones in my long career.”

While the Australian Open will begin on January 16 where she will play in women’s doubles alongside Kazakhstan’s Anna Danilina, the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships begin on February 19.