Statistically, Sania Mirza may be no match for all-time greats like Serena Williams, but it’s hard to overstate the tennis star’s impact on sport in India, especially for women.

Her black hair tied in a quick bun, Mirza’s dark eyes focused across the net on Tuesday, as she bounced the ball three times before serving, her iconic nose pin glinting with every move.

She was playing against Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova and Liudmila Samsonova at the WTA Dubai Duty Free Championships – hundreds of spectators, many of them fans from India, packed the courtside seating to watch her « last dance ». 

Mirza and her partner Madison Keys lost the first round match in straight sets, drawing the curtains on her 20-year professional tennis career.

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