Tennis ace Sania Mirza made a stunning comeback earlier this year following the birth of her son when she won the WTA Hobart International and was looking forward to more Grand Slam glory and another shot at an Olympic medal before the coronavirus pandemic struck.
The 33-year-old, who had been stuck in Hyderabad with son Izhaan while her husband Shoaib Malik was in Pakistan, also helped a charity raise funds to help feed the migrants and poor during the nationwide lockdown and had insisted on a need to adapt to the new situation.
Nothing has really changed with the tennis season still in limbo since March and though Mirza is keen on continuing her comeback, she admitted that a lot would depend on how and when competitions start again.
“I honestly do believe it is pretty hard, especially after I worked for that year-and-a-half to make the comeback and get to the stage of playing close to my highest level. So it is tough. But having said that, it’s more in the mind and if I’m able to take care of that, I’m confident that physically I will be able to do it,” she was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
“That’s why my focus is on staying physically active and fit even if I’m not getting to hit tennis balls. Right now, I am ready to go that extra mile to do that. I cannot tell you how I’ll feel in 2-3 months but at this point, I do feel that I’m ready to put in all that hard work again. I think it’s going to be easier than what I’ve already done, because I don’t have to lose 26 kilos like before,” she added.
Having won the Hobart International, a calf injury put paid to Mirza’s hopes of giving her best at the Australian Open but she played a pivotal role in helping India reach the Fed Cup World Group play-offs for the first time in history in March this year.
Mirza admitted that finding the motivation to keep training when one does not know when they will be competing next was a huge challenge and said that the Covid-19 positive tests of top men’s tennis players following the Adria Tour has only complicated things further.
“After what happened at the Adria Tour, I do believe that people are going to think about it (returning to the tour) a few times. This is a health risk, it is no joke. We’ll just have wait and watch, because it’s like we’re living day-to-day now,” she said.
“I don’t know if I’m going to say that it is a timely lesson that the tennis community needed to learn by some of our top players in the world testing positive. I don’t think we needed that. I wish none of them had tested positive, because I know of at least 10-15 people in my close proximity who have tested positive, and a couple of them have not made it. So it is tough,” added Mirza.