Post giving birth to her first child with husband Shoaib Malik, Sania Mirza has set herself a target of late 2019 to make a professional comeback to competitive tennis at the highest level. Mirza last played in 2017 before she suffered an injury near the end of the year after which she got pregnant.
Often regarded as one of the greatest women’s tennis player to ever emerge from India, Sania Mirza has certainly enjoyed a distinguished career on the international stage. Mirza has been a former world number one in the doubles category and won a total of six Grand Slam titles over the course of her career. From 2003 until her retirement from singles in 2013, Sania was ranked by the WTA as India's top player across both categories.
Mirza, who married Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik in 2010, gave birth to her first child - Izhaan. Having last played professional tennis back in 2017, Mirza eyes a return to competitive tennis in the latter stages of 2019.
"I don’t have a specific date. Realistically speaking, I’m looking at late next year (2019). I need to take this slowly and be prepared. 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. I want to be the best mother, best player I can be. I would like to be at the top level.
"You have to hope for the best, try and get back to that level. I am 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, 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," Mirza said in a recent interview with TOI.
The Asian Games medalist revealed that she missed playing tennis and was looking forward to getting back on the court as soon as possible. However, at the moment her priority is her baby Izhaan and she does not want to rush things as far as that was concerned.
"Of course I missed tennis, I still miss tennis, miss playing. I can’t wait to start playing again. Tennis is in my blood. 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 of 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. 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. You don’t know how things are going to turn out," Mirza added.
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