Will always be part of sports: Emotional Sania bids last goodbye
Several celebrities, bureaucrats and political leaders such as CV Anand, Dulquer Salmaan, Kiren Rijiju, and Jayesh Ranjan were present. Her son Ishan and her parents too were present.
Published: 06th March 2023 10:10 AM | Last Updated: 06th March 2023 01:19 PM | A+A A-
HYDERABAD: There was quite a sprinkling of stars. Some of her closest buddies from the circuit were on the court and celebrities and ministers were off it. All converged into the Lala Bahadur Stadium in Hyderabad to watch their most loved and famous woman’s player appearing in her last match. The same venue where she won her first Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) singles title close to two decades ago. The eclectic crowd made some noise when Sania Mirza, who wanted to bid adieu to the sport that gave her so much at home, entered the arena.
The ensemble too was on familiar lines. Sania had some of her former doubles mates in attendance and they came together to play a few hits and rallies for one last time. There were her former mixed doubles mates Croatian Ivan Dodig and Rohan Bopanna, one of her closest friends Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Cara Black and Marion Bartoli. They played matches for the audience too.
In the stands were some former international players, celebrities and ministers (Union and state) too. It was Yuvraj Singh who received a huge roar. He paired up with Bethanie against Sania and Ivan for an exhibition tie.
‘Happy tears’ flowed once again as Sania talked about her career and thanked her fans. “I’m grateful for all that I’ve been able to achieve in my career, I couldn’t be more grateful being here with my family, my best friends and my fans who have supported me all along.”
Several celebrities, bureaucrats and political leaders such as CV Anand, Dulquer Salmaan, Kiren Rijiju, and Jayesh Ranjan were present. Her son Ishan and her parents too were present. It was an understandably emotional moment for Sania as she began her speech by saying, “It’s been one amazing ride, representing my country is an achievement in itself and I’ll always be thankful for the support I’ve received throughout my 20-plus years career. I’m only retiring as a player, but will always be a part of Indian sports and tennis.”