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"Not a crier, at least not in front of people, but I'm almost there" - Sania Mirza after dramatic win to keep Australian Open dream alive

Mirza and Bopanna beat the third seeds to reach the Australian Open final.
Mirza and Bopanna beat the third seeds to reach the Australian Open final.

Playing in the final Grand Slam of her illustrious career at the 2023 Australian Open, Sania Mirza kept the hopes of a fairytale ending alive on Wednesday. She and Rohan Bopanna beat third seeds Neal Skupski and Desirae Krawczyk to enter the mixed doubles final.

The Indian duo came through a dramatic 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 10-6 win when Sania Mirza sent down a powerful overhead on their fifth match point opportunity. The hour and 52-minute victory might go down as one of the most memorable of the 36-year-old's career as it now gives her a chance to walk off the tennis courts with a seventh Grand Slam title.

Speaking about the win during her on-court interview, a visibly emotional Mirza said she had to overcome some nerves to post this "special" result. The Indian legend went on to reflect on her long journey, recalling partnering Bopanna for her first mixed doubles match at the age of 14.

"Rohan Bopanna was my first mixed doubles partner when I was 14, and I am now 36 and Rohan is 42," Sania Mirza said during her on-court interview at the Australian Open. "It is special since it's my last Slam, it is very emotional. Nerves are always there, but we managed to pull through."

Mirza went on to say that while she was not a crier, the emotional win had "almost" brought her to tears. She also briefly touched upon her bond with the Australian Open, dubbing the venue a second home for her, before thanking the fans for their constant support over the years.

"I'm so emotional, I'm not a crier, at least not in front of people, but I'm almost there," Sania Mirza said.

She added:

"Thank you so much guys, it means a lot. I've felt the love here for the last 18 years that I've been coming here. It feels like home to me, because I have family here, I eat at home and I have got so many Indians coming and supporting me. It has been quite a journey and I'll miss coming back here."

Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna to play for Australian Open mixed doubles crown on Friday

Mirza and Bopanna in action at the 2023 Australian Open.
Mirza and Bopanna in action at the 2023 Australian Open.

Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna had already improved on their previous best Grand Slam mixed doubles result as a pair by reaching the semifinals here in Melbourne. Their upset over the third seeds has now put them one win away from what would be a famous victory back home.

If they were to walk away with the Australian Open trophy, it would be Mirza's seventh Grand Slam and just the second for Bopanna. The duo will face the winner of the other semifinal contest between Olivia Gadecki/Marc Polmans and Luisa Stefani/Rafael Matos.

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Edited by Diptanil Roy
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