Indian trailblazer Sania Mirza has announced that she will retire from tennis at the 2023 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in February.
The former doubles world number one had initially planned to hang up her racquet at the end of the 2022 season, but an elbow injury forced her to end the season way prematurely, so she decided to recover and get back on tour to finish her career on her own terms, on the court.
“I was going to stop right after the WTA Finals, because we were going to make the WTA Finals, but I tore my tendon in my elbow right before US Open so I had to pull out of everything,” Mirza told the WTA last month in Dubai, the city she has been living in for over a decade.
“And honestly, the person that I am, I like to do things on my own terms. So I don’t want to be forced out by injury. So I’ve been training.”
The main reason for Mirza’s retirement is that her body can’t take it any longer after 20 years competing on the WTA Tour and she’s emotionally drained from pushing her body to the limit.
The 36-year-old Mirza has won six Grand Slam titles — three in women’s doubles and three in mixed doubles. She was also a successful singles player, but her main achievements came in doubles and the most notable was her 41-match winning streak alongside Martina Hingis.
The Indian will play the upcoming Australian Open alongside Kazakhstan’s Anna Danilina.