Sania Mirza's career in pictures as Indian tennis ace announces retirement plans

Doubles star says injuries and family commitments are reasons behind decision

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India tennis icon Sania Mirza has revealed she plans to retire at the end of this season as injuries have taken their toll.

Mirza made the announcement on Wednesday after losing her Australian Open women's doubles first round match with her partner Nadiia Kichenok of Ukraine.

The 35-year-old is regarded as her country's greatest women's tennis player having win won six Grand Slam doubles titles.

“I have decided this will be my last season. I'm taking it week by week, not sure if I can last the season, but I want to,” she said in Melbourne.

“I still feel I can play well, go deep into tournaments and all that. But beyond this season I don't see my body do it either. It's beat.”

Mirza, who is married to former Pakistan cricket captain Shoaib Malik, last won a women's doubles title at the Ostrava Open in September, with China's Zhang Shuai.

But Mirza admits that injuries and a young family have forced her to call time on her career.

“I do feel my recovery is taking longer, I'm putting my three-year-old son at risk by travelling so much with him, that's something I have to take into account. I think my body is wearing down,” she said.

“My knee was really hurting today and I'm not saying that's the reason we lost, but I do think that it is taking time to recover as I'm getting older.”

Mirza became the first Indian to win a WTA singles title, in 2005, in her hometown Hyderabad. She reached the fourth round of the US Open the same year and by 2007 was among the women's top 30.

But a wrist injury forced her to focus on doubles, forging a partnership with Swiss great Martina Hingis which produced three Grand Slam titles.

Updated: January 20, 2022, 10:02 AM