2022 Australian Open: Sania, Rajeev advance to mixed doubles quarter-finals
Ace Indian tennis star Sania Mirza on Sunday progressed to the quarter-finals of the mixed doubles event at the 2022 Australian Open with her American partner Rajeev Ram. The Indo-American pair defeated Australia's Ellen Perez and the Netherlands' Matwe Middelkoopa in straight sets 7-6(4), 6-4. The two needed just one hour and 27 minutes to wrap up their second-round match at Court 3.
- Having already announced her decision to retire from professional tennis at the end of the 2022 calendar year, the Indian star is looking for a late purple patch in her career.
- She has won six Grand Slams in her career and is looking to add one more major title to her tally by winning the Australian Open mixed doubles title with Rajeev.
Sania and Rajeev served five aces as compared to two by Perez and Middelkoopa. Both pairs made just one double faults. The first set went to a tie-breaker and it was won by Sania and Rajeev. Overall, Sania and Rajeev won 75 points (service points 46, receiving points 29) while Perez and Middelkoopa managed to collect 64 points (service points 40, receiving points 24).
Saina is the only Indian in the fray in Melbourne now. Earlier this week, Rohan Bopanna and his Croatian partner Darija Schreiber were knocked out from the first round of the mixed doubles event. They were beaten by Ukraine's Lyudmyla Kichenok and Kazakhstan's Andrey Golubev 6-1, 4-6, 9-11. Sania and Bopanna had bowed out from the first round of women's and men's doubles respectively.
Following her loss, Sania announced her retirement decision, saying that her "body is wearing down" and she is "getting older," "There are a bunch of reasons for it," she added. "I do feel my recovery is taking longer. Considering my son is three years old, I'm putting him at risk by travelling so much, that's something I have to take into account," Mirza said.
Sania has won six Grand Slam titles in her career. She has won three major titles in women's doubles - US Open (2015), Wimbledon (2015), and Australian Open (2016). Sania's three Slams in mixed doubles came in US Open (2014), Roland Garros (2012), and Australian Open (2009). She reached a career-high number one ranking in doubles in 2015. She is ranked 68 in doubles.