Sania Mirza, the six-time Grand Slam champion and winner of 41 WTA doubles titles, has had to skip the entire 2018 season, as she gave birth to her son, Izhaan in October. A former world number one and the winner of three different Majors in both doubles and mixed doubles, Sania Mirza is eager to come back to professional tennis. She was the dominant figure on the doubles tour in 2015 and 2016 with Martina Hingis and she started to play with different partners in 2017, winning the titles in Brisbane with Bethanie Mattek-Sands and reaching the latter stages of multiple tournaments in Sydney, Doha, Dubai, Miami with Barbora Strycova.
Paired with Shuai Peng, Mirza was the semi-finalist at the US Open, Wuhan and Beijing and those were her last tournaments before deciding to take a break and focus on her pregnancy. In the most recent interview, Sania said she can’t wait to compete again but also that the focus is only on her son at the moment, targeting the end of 2019 as the possible return date.
Struggling with injuries in the past, Mirza wants to plan everything and make the best moves before she hits the court again, eager to return to the top and play on the highest level again. “Of course I missed tennis, I still miss playing,” said Sania Mirza. “I can’t wait to start playing again because tennis is in my blood”, she said excitedly. “It’s just that priorities change when you’re expecting. You want to have a healthy baby, you want to be healthy. At that point, I wasn’t thinking about tennis. I’ve never been a huge planner, what I would be doing one year later or six months later or after the baby was born”, said the Indian tennis player.
Sania Mirza said she was not sure about her return to professional tennis, during the past few months. “So, when I was pregnant I saw no point in talking about what I would be doing after I gave birth, if I would come back or when I would come back”, said Sania Mirza. “You don’t know how things are going to turn out. I’ve already had three surgeries and the C-section is a pretty big surgery”, she continued. “I already had bad knees, they have been operated upon twice. That’s why it’s important for me to be at my ideal weight before I get on a full training schedule.”
When asked if she had set a target date or tournament to return, she said- “I don’t have a specific date of a comeback. Realistically speaking, I’m looking at late next year because I need to take things slowly and get prepared.”
However she has made it clear that if she returns she will return with her complete potential, even it takes time. “I’m a perfectionist, anything I do I want to do it properly. I would like to come back and compete at the level I competed at”, she said.
“I want to be the best mother and the best player I can be. I’m not putting any extra pressure on myself. There are a lot of changes taking place in the game, people are quitting, Lucie Safarova is retiring and Elena Vesnina just had a kid too. I will take a call as we go along, will cross that bridge when I come to it,” said Sania Mirza.