HYDERABAD: Indian Tennis star Sania Mirza uploaded a tear-jerking “life update” on Instagram. The star who frequently updates her social media account in a bid to stay in touch with her fans has uploaded a post that has many in tears.
Taking to the popular photograph and video sharing platform. the 36-year-old expressed her feelings regarding her retirement in a long heartfelt note.
Earlier this month, Sania announced her retirement plans.
She had announced that she would call time on her career after next month’s Dubai Tennis Championships after her 2022.
In the note, she detailed her journey in tennis and thanked her family and fans for their support throughout her career, and said that she was set to start a new chapter of her life and devote more time to her son.
“Thirty years ago,” the Indian tennis star begins in her message, “a six-year-old girl from Nasr School in Hyderabad, walked onto a tennis court at Nizam Club with her young mom and fought the coach to let her learn how to play tennis as he thought that she was too little [to play tennis]”.
She then described how having started to practice at the tender age of six, she had “dared to dream” of representing her country in a Grand Slam someday.
The star wrote, “[looking back], not only did I get to play well over half a century of Grand Slam tournaments but I was fortunate enough to win a bunch of them, too, with God’s grace”.
Stating that she felt very emotional even as she wrote the message, Sania said winning medals for her country had been her “biggest honour” and was a humbling experience.
She then thanked her family and her fans, along with her entire team, for their constant and endless support, and wrote: “It’s all of you, who have helped me through the toughest phases of my life and helped this little girl from Hyderabad to not only dare to dream but to achieve those dreams, as well. So thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
“[Tennis] is all I’ve known throughout my life,” the star wrote as she recounted the extent and expanse of her Tennis career.
“It’s been 20 years of being a professional athlete and 30 years of being a tennis player,” she stated.
Commenting on her decision to retire in 2023, Sania said: “My Grand Slam journey started with the Australian Open back in 2005. So, it goes without saying that this would be the most perfect Grand Slam to end my career with.”
The Australian Open this year is set to start on January 16. Sania played her first Grand Slam in the Australian open 18 years ago. After playing in this Grand Slam, she plans to play in the Dubai Open in February.
However, moved as she may feel, Sania wrote that her two most prominent feelings at the time of her retirement were “gratitude and pride”.
“I take pride in everything I have been able to achieve over the last 20 years of my professional career and I am so grateful for the memories that I have been able to create,” she said.
After the moving and emotional trip down memory lane, Sania concluded her message on a hopeful note, saying that she did not see the retirement as an “end”.
“In fact, [it is] a beginning of many different memories to be created, dreams to be achieved and new goals to be set. My son needs me more than ever now and I can’t wait to live a slightly quieter and calmer life while giving him more of my time than I have been able to give so far”.
With this heartfelt conclusion, the tennis star signed off, leaving her fans feeling very emotional, and comments flooded her post with fans wishing her well and sharing their thoughts on how she had been an inspiration in their lives.
It should be noted that Sania played her last match at Wimbledon in July 2022. At the time she had shared an emotional farewell to Wimbledon via Twitter.
She was initially set to retire from professional Tennis last year after playing in the US Open. However, she had to pull back due to an injury and her plans were postponed to 2023.