Friday, March 31, 2023

Brazilian players win mixed doubles in Australia

MELBOURNE ( Associated Press) – Brazil’s Luisa Stefani and Rafael Matos beat Indians Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna 7-6(2), 6-2 on Friday to win the mixed doubles title at the Australian Open.

This was Mirza’s last match in a Grand Slam tournament before retirement. The champions of six major doubles tournaments – including three in mixed – will retire next month after a competition in Dubai.

Mirza, who won the mixed doubles title at the Australian Open in 2019, got emotional during the award ceremony.

“I warn you: if I cry it will be tears of joy,” he said. “I don’t want to steal this moment from Matos and Stefani, who deserve it.”

The 36-year-old Indian made her first major appearance as an 18-year-old in Melbourne, where she lost to eventual champion Serena Williams in their 2005 third-round matchup.

“I’ve had the privilege of coming back here again and again and winning some tournaments and playing some great finals,” Mirza recalled. “Rod Laver Arena has been truly special in my life, and I couldn’t think of a better place to end my Grand Slam career.”

Mirza was 14 when he first played with Bopanna.

Stephanie and Matos remain undefeated as a pair. They have won all seven of their matches in the United Cup and the Australian Open together.

The Brazilian said that Matos invited him to play together. She was coming back from a serious knee injury and was inspired by the occasion last year.

“Now here we are, winning our first Grand Slam together in Australia on this beautiful court… It’s a dream come true.”

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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