Playing in her last Grand Slam tournament, India’s ace tennis player Sania Mirza started her Australian Open campaign with a women’s doubles first-round win, partnering with Kazakhstan’s Anna Danilina here on Thursday.
The Indo-Kazakh pair defeated Ukrainian-Belgian pair Anhelina Kalinina and Alison Van Uytvanck 6-2, 7-5. Sania and Anna will face the Ukrainian-Belgian duo of Anhelina Kalinina and Alison Van Uytvanck in the second round on Friday.
The former world No. 1 women’s doubles player had earlier this month announced that she will retire from professional tennis at Dubai Tennis Championships, a WTA 1000 event, which begins on February 19.
Sania has six major titles — three in doubles and three in mixed doubles — with her maiden triumph coming in 2009 when she partnered Mahesh Bhupathi to clinch the Australian Open mixed doubles title.
In 2015, she paired up with Swiss legend Martina Hingis, with whom she won three back-to-back Grand Slam doubles titles and the duo’s first Grand Slam success came at Wimbledon the same year.
Meanwhile, Competing in their first Grand Slam together as a pair, the Indian men’s doubles wildcards Yuki Bhambri and Saketh Myneni lost to 14th seeds John Peers of Australia and Andrea Mies of Germany 6-7(5), 7-6(4), 3-6.
Another men’s pair Ramkumar Ramanathan and his Mexican partner Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela suffered a 6-3, 5-7, 3-6 loss at the hands of Greek pair Stefanos Tsitsipas and his brother Petros.