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Sania Mirza to retire after current season: What you need to know

Picture courtesy: Getty/HT

Indian tennis star Sania Mirza announced her intention to retire from the sport after the current season. Mirza announced after she and her Ukrainian partner Nadia Kichenok suffered an opening-round-loss in the women's doubles event of the ongoing Australian Open on Wednesday.

Mirza, 35, became the first Indian to win a WTA singles title in 2005.

“I’ve decided this will be my last season. I’m taking it week by week, not sure if I can last the season, but I want to," Mirza said during the post-match press conference.

Mirza made her senior debut in 2003 and holds the record for the highest-ranked women's singles player from India (no.27). She had retired from singles in 2013 and registered notable victories against renowned players like Martina Hingis, Victoria Azarenka, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Dinara Safina, among others during her 10-year career.

While injury issues shortened her singles stint, Mirza specialised in doubles and went on to secure wins in Wimbledon and US Open (both in 2015), as well as the Australian Open (2016) in women's doubles alongside Hingis. She also won three mixed doubles Grand Slam titles, making her one of the most decorated players in Indian tennis history.

Mirza also received plenty of attention for her life outside tennis - including for her marriage to former Pakistan cricket captain Shoaib Malik. The couple has a three-year-old son.

With almost 25m followers combined on her Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, Mirza is one of the best-known sportswomen in India.

She has been credited with inspiring young women to play tennis in a cricket-obsessed country.

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