Tennis Olympics

Mirza-Bopanna crumbles under pressure; loses AO mixed doubles final

Sania Mirza, one of India’s greatest sporting heroes, wanted to end her career on a high. However, fate had other things for her. The Indian pair of Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna lost 6-7(2) 2-6 to the Brazilian duo Rafael Matos and Luisa Stefani in the Australian Open mixed doubles final.

The Indian pair played tremendously. After the initial hiccups, the duo showed exemplary grit and determination to bounce back. But, the Brazilian team, Matos and Stefani, continued with the momentum to break the Indian duo in the second set. Sania and Bopanna showed glimpses of their brilliance, but it just wasn’t enough for them to force a comeback. They eventually lost 6-7 (2), 2-6.

Sania, who announced her retirement a few days back, said, “My professional career started in Melbourne… I couldn’t think of a better arena to finish my [Grand Slam] career at.”

The Hyderabad-based tennis player has won six major titles- three in women’s doubles and three in mixed doubles. The former World number 1 doubles player has also won eight Asian Games medals and two Commonwealth Games medals. Mirza was conferred with the Arjuna Award in 2004, Padma Shri in 2006, Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award in 2015, and Padma Shri in 2016.

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