Indian Tennis star Sania Mirza made the retirement announcement after losing the Australian Open women’s doubles first round with partner Nadiia Kichenok. Sania Mirza, 35, had returned to tennis after giving birth to her son in March 2019 but her progress was later hindered by the coronavirus pandemic.
“There’s a bunch reasons for it. It’s not as simple as ‘okay I’m not going to play’. I do feel my recovery is taking longer, I do feel, considering my son is three years old, I’m putting him at risk by travelling so much with him, that’s something I have to take into account,” Mirza said at the post-match press conference.
“My body is wearing down. My knee was really hurting today and I’m not saying that’s the reason we lost but I do think that it is taking time to recover as I’m getting older,” she expressed.
“Also for me to find that motivation everyday to come out, the energy is not the same anymore. Right this minute, it’s there but there are days where I don’t feel like doing that. I’ve always said that I will play until I enjoy that grind, the process and not just winning but you have to enjoy the process and I am not sure I’m enjoying it anymore.
“I am enjoying it enough to play this season. I’ve worked very hard to come back, get fit, lose the weight and try to set a good example for mothers, new mothers to follow their dreams as much as they can. Beyond this season, I don’t feel my body doing it. It’s beat,” said the world number 68.
Sania Mirza quit singles after a wrist injury to focus on doubles and relished exceptional outcomes. She earned top-30 in singles with 27 being her career-best rank. She confesses that she was playing at a decent level but she always knew that 2022 will be her last season. “I am playing at a good level. First week in Adelaide (event), we (she and Kichenok) beat top-10, 20 players. I am playing at a decent level. I was pretty sure this is my last season, if I do finish it. I am sure I am not coming to Melbourne to play Australian Open again.”
“I had great memories here, singles, doubles and mixed doubles. It’s been a great journey. I am not looking forward to June or July, I am literally going week to week, with my body, with virus, there is so much uncertainty.”
“Every time I play, I feel I have a chance to win, that’s why I am here. It is not because of disappointment of today’s match. Just the way my body is. I am not sure if I can finish the season. I want to play full season, I am still (ranked) 50-60 in world, I do feel I have the level to play.”“As an athlete I feel I can go deep in tournament. But I have a bit of a meniscus issue going on my right knee, I woke up with wrist pain couple of days ago. There is nothing wrong with it.”
“At 35, I am waking up with couple of things that I don’t know where they’re coming from. I want to finish the season, try to play until US Open, that is my goal. But I still have to take it week-to-week,” she said.
Talking about her first-round match, Sania Mirza said the circumstances were challenging but they could have endured the match better tactically. “Definitely, conditions were tough, very gutsy, sometimes it’s not about tennis. We should have won the second set. When the wind is blowing one side and the stadium is on the other side, the ball bounced on leave and changed directions when I was hitting the ball. It was tough conditions but when you come to Australia, you can have days like this. On days like that, you should take a little bit more charge at net. That’s where we made a mistake.”