Sania Mirza, the Indian tennis queen who announced her retirement from professional tennis earlier this month at the Dubai Tennis Championships, is scheduled to receive a rousing goodbye from Indian fans in her hometown, Hyderabad.
Sania Mirza's farewell will occur on March 5 at Hyderabad's Lal Bahadur Stadium. Sania Mirza will participate in a handful of exhibition matches as part of the tournament.
"I'm all set to play my last-ever tennis match, exactly where it all started for me 18-20 years ago ... and I will have all my close friends, my family, and my partner coming and I can't wait to play in front of you one last time," Sania Mirza said as per the Olympics website.
"I hope to end this journey on a beautiful note, in front of my friends, my family and most important of all, my most loyal fans and followers who have been through everything with me in this journey," she added.
Six-time Grand Slam tennis winner Sania Mirza will play two exhibition matches as part of her farewell. The first event will be a rounders game between two teams comprised of actors, cricketers, and tennis players. One of the two teams will be led by Sania, while the other will be led by Indian tennis player Rohan Bopanna.
The second will be a mixed doubles tennis match between Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna, and Ivan Dodig and Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Bopanna, Dodig, and Sands have previously collaborated with Sania Mirza.
Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna have been teammates for a long time and placed fourth in mixed doubles at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Earlier this year, the pair reached the finals of the Australian Open, which was the ace tennis star's final Grand Slam appearance.
Sania Mirza is unquestionably India's most accomplished female tennis player. She won 44 WTA championships (43 in doubles and one in singles) over her brilliant career that spanned nearly two decades, and she was also the World No. 1 in women's doubles WTA rankings at that time.
Her most recent doubles victory came in 2021 at the Ostrava Open in the Czech Republic when she teamed up with China's Zhang Shuai.
Many celebrities, including Bollywood and Tollywood stars, are anticipated to be present as guests at Sania Mirza's goodbye gala. (ANI)