Melbourne: India’s most successful female tennis star Sania Mirza will be quitting as a professional player at the end of this season. Not only is she fast losing motivation, Sania is worried about putting her three-year-old son at risk.
The 35-year-old Sania, the first Indian woman to win a Grand Slam and be ranked No. 1 in doubles, made the announcement after a first-round defeat the Australian Open women’s doubles competition on Wednesday.
“There’s a few 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’m putting my 3-year-old son at risk by travelling so much with him, that’s something I have to take into account. I think 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,” Sania said after she and Ukrainian partner Nadiia Kichenok lost 4-6, 6-7 to Tamara Zidansek and Kaja Juvan.
Sania, a four-time Olympian, won half a dozen Grand Slam doubles (three women’s and three mixed) titles during an illustrious career. She’s also the first Indian woman to be ranked in the world’s top 30 in singles.
“Also for me to find that motivation everyday to come out. The energy is not the same anymore. There are more days than there used to be where I don’t feel like doing that. I’ve always said that I will play until I enjoy that grind, the process which I’m not sure I’m enjoying as much anymore, said Sania, adding that she had made the decision at the end of last year.