In the penultimate WTA event of her career, former doubles World No. 1 Sania Mirza and her American partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands went down 3-6, 4-6 to Belgian-German duo of Kirsten Flipkens and Laura Siegemund in the first round of Abu Dhabi Open on Monday.
The 36-year-old Mirza is set to retire from the sport after WTA1000 event in Dubai, which begins from February 19, where Madison Keys, another American, will be her partner.
Mirza, the six-time Grand Slam winner in doubles, played her final Major at the Australian Open last month where she and Rohan Bopanna reached the mixed doubles final before losing to the Brazilian duo of Luisa Stefania and Rafael Matos.
She initially wanted to hang up her racquet at the end of 2022, but an elbow injury ruled her out of the US Open and forced her to end 2022 as early as August.
“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 have been training,” Mirza had told wtatennis.com. on January 6 while revealing her decision to retire.
“I really don’t have the capacity in my mind to emotionally push that much anymore. I turned pro in 2003,” the 36-year-old was quoted as saying by WTA. “Priorities change, and now my priority is not to push my body to the limit every single day,” she added.
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