Melbourne: Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna came second to Luisa Stefani and Rafael Matos of Brazil in the Australian Open mixed doubles final on Friday at Melbourne Park as the Brazillian pair clinched their maiden Grand Slam.
Sania Mirza was competing in her final Grand Slam with Rohan Bopanna where the duo were defeated 7(7)-6(2), 6-2 by Luisa Stefani and Rafael Matos.
Rohan Bopanna, who will turn 43 in March, and Sania Mirza, 36, had a difficult beginning because the latter was broken on his first serve.
In the fourth and eighth games, the Indian pair pounced on Luisa Stefani’s serves but lost the set in the tiebreaker as Rohan Bopanna once more struggled to hold his serve in the ninth game.
The Indian team, which advanced to the women’s doubles semifinals at Rio 2016, survived an early defeat in the second set. Still, Rafael Matos and Luisa Stefani worked well together to break Sania Mirza’s serve in the fourth game.
Sania Mirza won two Grand Slam tournaments at the Australian Open. She won the Australian Open women’s doubles title with Martina Hingis in 2016 and the Australian Open mixed doubles title with Mahesh Bhupathi in 2009.
The 2017 French Open mixed doubles championship, Rohan Bopanna won with Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada remains his solitary Grand Slam triumph.
The Indian team has defeated the defending Wimbledon winners Desirae Krawczyk and Neal Skupski in three sets in the Australian Open 2023 semifinals.
“My professional career started in Melbourne. I couldn’t think of a better arena to finish my [Grand Slam] career at,” stated an emotional Sania Mirza in the post-match interview.
The WTA Doubles World No. 1 for 91 weeks, Mirza, comes in second place at the last Grand Slam competition of her career. Mirza said earlier this month that the WTA 1000 Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Championships in February will mark the conclusion of her professional tennis career.
(With ANI inputs)