Sania Mirza's illustrious career at the oldest known Grand Slam came to an end on Wednesday as she and her Croatian partner Mate Pavic were eliminated in the Wimbledon 2022 mixed doubles semi-finals. They were defeated by the second-seeded British-American pair of Neal Skupski and Desirae Krawczyk.
Sania Mirza and Mate Pavic struck first, breaking home favorite Neal Skupski's serve in the fifth game of the opening set. The Indo-Croatian duo subsequently took advantage of the momentum to grab a 1-0 lead.
Mirza and Pavic, one among the defending men's doubles Wimbledon winners, broke the Neal Skupski serve in the opening game of the second set to take an early lead. But, just as the team appeared to be on their way to the final, the Indian Mirza was dropped in the eighth game of the second set. Skupski and Krawczyk took advantage of the opportunity and drew level.
Krawczyk was beaten for the first time in the match in the decisive set as Sania Mirza and Mate Pavic seized a 2-1 lead, but the Indo-Croatian combination surrendered the momentum in the very next game. Pavic, who was serving to salvage the match in the tenth game, began with a double fault, and the reigning champs took advantage. The Indo-Croatian duo saved a match point but then gave up easy points to exit the finals.
Pavic and Mirza made 19 silly mistakes against the reigning champions during the match, which cost them. Meanwhile, this was Mirza's first Wimbledon semi-finals in the mixed doubles. She had previously reached the mixed doubles quarterfinals in 2011, 2013, and 2015.
At 17, she became the first Indian female tennis player to win a Grand Slam when she won the Wimbledon girl's doubles title with Russia's Alisa Kleybanova in 2003. “This is where it all started for me in 2003. That was the beginning of the big things for me. This is the biggest stage of tennis,” Sania Mirza had said.
She would then go on to claim a senior Wimbledon title twelve years later, winning the women's doubles tournament with Swiss star Martina Hingis. Sania Mirza's sole Wimbledon championship to date is her 2015 win.
"I am going to miss Wimbledon, but I think it is time to move on,” an emotional Sania Mirza, said after losing the women's doubles. “There are things in life that take priority over playing tennis matches and I am at that stage now."