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The Australian Open 2023 is going to be a sombre moment for Indian sports fans as Sania Mirza will make her last Grand Slam appearance of her career. The 36-year-old shared an emotional note for her fans on social media. Mirza will hang her boots after next month's Dubai Tennis Championships. 

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Melbourne Park holds special importance for Sania Mirza as she won her women’s doubles title with Martina Hingis. Along with the Australian Open win in 2016, she has won six Grand Slam doubles titles. In this note on social, Mirza talked about her dream of playing tennis at the highest level and winning Grand Slams. 

The Indian tennis stalwart, "Thirty (yes, 30!) years ago a 6-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 :).”

“The fight for our dreams began at 6! With a lot of hope despite all the odds stacked against us, we dared to dream of playing in a Grand Slam someday and of representing our country with honour at the highest level in sport. As I look back at my career now, 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." 

Sania has carried Indian tennis on her shoulder as she became the first Indian to win a WTA singles title at the Hyderabad event in 2005. She then reached the top 30 by 2007 and achieved her career-high ranking of world number 27. Mirza previously retire at the end of the 2022 season but an elbow injury in August last year ruled her out of the US Open.

"To win medals for my country has been my biggest honour and I feel truly humbled to have been able to stand up on the podium, knowing that the tri-colour had been raised high to be seen and respected by millions all over the world all because of something that I was privileged enough to achieve. I have tears in my eyes and goosebumps even as I type this," the note continued. 

In this year’s Australian Open, Sania will team up with Kazakhstan's Anna Danilina kicks off on January 16, before the curtain falls in the United Arab Emirates. To conclude her note, Mirza thanked everyone who supported her in this journey full off up and downs. 

The note said, "None of this would have been possible without the support of my parents and sister, my family, my coaches, my physios, my trainers, my fans, my supporters, my partners and my entire team that has stood by me through thick and thin over the years. I want to thank each one of them for the contribution, the laughs, the tears, the pain and the joy we have shared. 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."   

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