ABU DHABI: Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza and her American partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands suffered a straight-set defeat against the pair of Kirsten Flipkens and Laura Siegemund in the first round of the Abu Dhabi Open here.
The Sania-Bethanie duo lost 3-6, 4-6 to their Belgian-German opponents in the match that lasted one hour and 13 minutes Monday night to make an early exit from the tournament.
Sania, a six-time Grand Slam winner, is set to retire from professional tennis after playing in the Dubai Tennis Championships beginning February 19.
Last month, Sania and Rohan Bopanna had finished runners-up in the mixed doubles in the Australian Open in Melbourne as they lost to Brazilians Luisa Stefani and Rafael Matos in the final.
That match was the last time Sania featured in a Grand Slam.