The all-Indian pair of Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna went down 6-7 (2), 2-6 to the Brazilian duo of Luisa Stefani and Rafael Matos in the Australian Open mixed doubles final at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne on Friday.
This was the final Grand Slam match of Mirza’s career as the 36-year-old is set to retire from the sport after next month’s Dubai Masters.
Mirza won the mixed doubles crown in Melbourne with compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi in 2009. She further went on to win five more Grand Slams, two of which came in mixed doubles.
Stefani and Matos became the first-ever Brazilian duo to win the mixed doubles crown in Melbourne.
The Brazilian pair took a 3-0 lead in the tiebreaker and Mirza and Bopanna fought back to 3-2, but that was to be the last points the Indian duo took. They missed two overheads in a row, including Mirza’s shot into the net on set point.
Stefani and Matos broke Mirza’s serve in the fourth game of the second set to go up 3-1, with the break point coming after a lengthy exchange between the teams. The Brazilian pair broke Mirza again when she was serving to stay in the match.
“My professional journey started here in Melbourne in 2005 when I played Serena Williams in 3rd round as an 18-year-old,” said an emotional Mirza during the presentation ceremony.
Couldn’t think of a better arena to finish my [Grand Slam] career at.”
(with inputs from AP)
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