India’s six-time Grand Slam Doubles winner Mirza given fitting send off at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
Sania Mirza, India’s first Grand Slam winner, was honoured on Centre Court at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium tonight after bringing down the curtain on a glittering professional career that spanned almost two decades and blazed a trail for future generations of Indian tennis hopefuls.
The 36-year-old Mumbai native, who won six Grand Slam Doubles titles and reached World No.1 in Doubles after joining the WTA Tour in 2004, was contesting her final tournament this week in Dubai, where she has lived for more than a decade. A former winner in the emirate in 2013, Mirza – playing alongside American Madison Keys – lost on Wednesday to Liudmila Samsonova and Veronika Kudermetova.
To honour her career and special relationship with the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, she was presented with a replica of the tournament’s famous silver trophy by Dubai Duty Free in front of a vocal crowd on Thursday night immediately after Coco Gauff’s singles quarterfinal victory over Keys. Representatives of the WTA also presented her with a framed photo montage.
“To be standing here and having achieved World No.1 was a victory for us as a family in so many ways,” said Mirza. “I thank my parents in believing in me. A lot of my professional career and lot of things for me in life started here in Dubai. Eighteen years ago, in 2005 I had my first top 10 singles match here and that changed my life in so many ways. I thank the organisers for supporting this side of the world with tennis because it’s really important that tennis not just grows, but also in parts where it has not before.”