Sports

Sania Mirza plays last match at Australian Open, crashes out of mixed doubles quarters with Rajeev Ram

The mixed-doubles pair of Sania Mirza and Rajeev Ram bowed out of the ongoing Australian Open on Tuesday (January 25). The pair bowed out after losing the quarterfinal clash against Jason Kubler and Jamiee Fourlis here at the Margaret Court Arena.

Kubler and Fourlis defeated Mirza and Ram 6-4, 7-6 in the quarterfinal clash. Mirza and USA’s Rajeev Ram lost the first set and they were not able to show any spark, letting the opponents dominate.

Having lost the first set, Mirza and Ram were left with all to do in the next set. The Indian-American duo of Mirza and Ram managed to take a lead in the second set, but Kubler and Fourlis staged a comeback and the second set was nicely poised at 5-5.

However, in the end, Kubler and Fourlis held their nerve to win the contest to progress to the semi-final of the ongoing Grand Slam.

Earlier, Mirza had revealed that the 2022 season will be her last on the court and she would retire after that.

Comeback kid Madison Keys storms into semis
Having wallowed in a ‘deep, dark pit of despair’ last season, Madison Keys booked her first Grand Slam semi-final spot in four years on Tuesday with a 6-3, 6-2 upset of Barbora Krejcikova at the Australian Open. Keys’ renaissance after a dismal 2021 season has lit up Melbourne Park this year, and at a baking hot Rod Laver Arena fourth seed Krejcikova became another casualty of the American`s new-found confidence and traditional firepower.

Keys told an on-court interviewer she thought she might cry. “It means a lot. Last year was really hard and I did everything that I could with my team to just really reset this off-season and focus on starting fresh and new and really just starting from zero and not worrying about last year.

“Wow, that’s gone well so far. I’m really proud of myself and so thankful to my team and my friends and my family for helping me through what was a really tough year last year.”

Banging down back-to-back aces to claim the first set, Keys roared to a 3-0 lead in the second before a rare wobble on serve gifted French Open champion Krejcikova a break. Unbowed, Keys unleashed a blistering forehand return winner down the line to break back and sealed the match with a thumping first serve that Krejcikova could only push long.

The 26-year-old booked her second Australian Open semi-final, seven years after making the last four at Melbourne Park as a 19-year-old sensation. That year, it took Serena Williams, the eventual champion, to stop her.

Williams said after the victory it was an honour to play ‘someone who will be number one in future’. It has not quite gone to script, with Keys now carrying a ranking of 51 and still searching for an elusive major title four years after Sloane Stephens denied her in the 2017 US Open final.

She will need to beat either Australian top seed Ash Barty or compatriot Jessica Pegula to reach the final but with her bazooka forehand and her serve firing, she will hope to trouble either.