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WATCH: Sania Mirza bids farewell to French Open for the last time as a tennis player

Sania Mirza's stint on the red clay of Roland Garros came to an end with her loss in the women's doubles third round - but Mirza has promised to come back, but only as a visitor next and not a tennis player.

Sania Mirza French Open

Sania Mirza in action at the French Open (Source: screengrab/SonyLIV)


The Bridge Desk

Published: 1 Jun 2022 4:58 PM GMT

6-time Grand Slam champion and Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza played her last match on the Parisian clay of Roland Garros in the third round of the women's doubles, with partner Lucie Hradecka on Tuesday.

For Mirza, who has been a former champion in Mixed Doubles with Mahesh Bhupathi at the French Open, this was her final appearance at the clay-court Grand Slam, as the former World No. 1 doubles star has announced earlier this year that will be her final year on the tour as a professional tennis player.

Up against top-level American singles and doubles pair of Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula on Court Simonne-Mathieu, Mirza and Hradecka played some quality tennis in a hard-fought encounter against the youngsters, eventually losing 4-6, 3-6.

Speaking to Adriano del Monte after the match, Mirza talked about the match and how it was really her final time on the courts of Roland Garros, admitting that this wasn't her favourite surface, even though she has a title on it.

"I love coming to Paris and playing here...hopefully I can come back and visit Paris now, not as a tennis player," she says.

Sania also talked about her camaraderie with the boys - Rohan Bopanna, Somdev Devvarman, and Mahesh Bhupathi and how they always made her feel as 'one of the boys', given how she was the only girl from India competing at this level, when on tour.

Mirza also showed her appreciation for Bopanna, who is on a brilliant little run himself, along with partner Matwe Middelkoop, as they have progressed into the semi-finals of the French Open men's doubles.

"I have always felt that he (Bopanna) has underachieved for the kind of talent, the kind of power he does play with. And I'm so happy to see him play at this level, you know, when people are talking about him retiring, asking him such questions about that, but he is still able to play at the highest level. As an Indian, I am very happy to see that he is actually here with a legit shot at the title," Mirza said, full of praises.

Rohan Bopanna and Matwe Middelkoop will take on the pair of Jean-Julien Rojer and Marcelo Arévalo in the semi-finals on Thursday at 3:30 PM IST on SonyLiv, next.

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