India's tennis ace Sania Mirza made a stunning start to her Australian Open 2023 campaign with a first-round win along with Kazakhstan's Anna Danilina in her last Grand Slam tournament in Melbourne on Thursday.
The Indo-Kazakh pair defeated the American-Hungarian pair of Dalma Galfi and Bernarda Pera 6-2, 7-5. Sania and Anna will face the Ukrainian-Belgian pair of Anhelina Kalinina and Alison Van Uytvanck in the second round on Friday. Along with this, Sania will also pair up with compatriot Rohan Bopanna in the mixed doubles.
Wrapping up the first set in less than 25 minutes, the pair led 4-1 in the second when they were made to work a bit as Galfi and Pera won four games on the trot to make it five-all. However, the Indo-Kazakh duo managed to break Pera's serve, and then Danilina held on to hers to seal the issue.
Sania Mirza announced her retirement from professional tennis a few days ago by sharing a special post on social media. Former world number 1 doubles player Sania had told that she started her Grand Slam career from the Australian Open in the year 2005 and will now play her last Grand Slam in the year 2023 at the Australian Open. Sania Mirza's last tournament will be the Dubai Free Duty Championships in February.
Sania has six major titles to her credit, including three in doubles and three in mixed doubles. Her first win came in 2009 when she teamed up with Mahesh Bhupathi to win the Australian Open mixed doubles title. In 2015, she teamed up with Swiss legend Martina Hingis. With Hingis, she won three back-to-back Grand Slam doubles titles. And their first Grand Slam success also came in the same year.
However, there was no good news for India in the first round of men's doubles. The Indian pair of Yuki Bhambri-Saketh Myneni was knocked out in the first round. They lost to the pair of Andreas Mies and John Peers 7-6, 6-7, 6-3. At the same time, India's Ramakumar Ramanathan and Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela also lost in the first round. The pair of Ramkumar and fellow Mexican Miguel lost to the Tsitsipas brothers. Stefanos and Petros Tsitsipas of Greece won the match 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.