Sania Mirza close to playing her best tennis again - Imran Mirza

Sania served a reminder of sorts of her prowess as she won the WTA Tour 500 doubles title with Zhang Shuai. Her father-cum-coach Imran Mirza feels she is close to playing her best tennis again.

Sania Mirza at training in Hyderabad. - V. V. SUBRAHMANYAM (FILE)

The Sania Mirza juggernaut rolls on!

The indefatigable tennis star from Hyderabad served a reminder of sorts of her prowess as she won the Czech Republic WTA Tour 500 doubles title with China's Zhang Shuai.

Not surprisingly, her father-cum-coach Imran Mirza feels that she is close to playing her best tennis again and ready to pack her bags again in the immediate future.

Not many in contemporary Indian tennis follow a strict training regimen as this six-time Grand Slam winner does whenever she is in her hometown. The grit and determination is visible on her face as she is joined by the likes of Davis Cuppers Saketh Myneni, J. Vishnuvardhan and a couple of young talent in her training sessions before she embarks for any of the major events.

Invariably, the 34-year-old Sania consistently defies age, rarely says enough of the training for she always displays that childish enthusiasm to keep knocking the ball around and trying to plug the few gaps in her game which might have crept in because of being away from the circuit.

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So, it was not surprising when the biggest name of Indian women’s tennis said the latest WTA title win was very special for her. ”Though this is my 43rd career doubles title win, it is the first WTA 500 title that I have won after becoming a mother!,” she said later on.

“My son who is away from me and in Chicago with Anam and Asad for the last two weeks, said to me this morning : 'Mama, come back with a trophy’,” the star player said.

“And I'm happy I could win this for him,” she added.

 

On partnering Shuai, Sania said she knew her for a long time, and played against each other in Cleveland a few weeks back. “We have always wanted to play together but it never really fell in place. Either she was unavailable or I was. We played together in Luxembourg last week and played really well together,” she said.

“And, we lost against the pair who went on to win the title and we played a very good match,” she added.

“Definitely, it is a great feeling to come back and win titles, especially after having a kid. I started feeling better as the week progressed and I felt I got back into my rhythm. It’s been a start stop for me,” Sania said.

Sania also said it was the first time she had played four tournaments together and that she loved playing big matches as match practice made a difference to her form.

For his part, Sania’s father-cum-coach Imran Mirza feels that his daughter had shown remarkable grit and discipline while working on her fitness and her game. “I think she is close to playing her best tennis again and gradually working her way back to the top echelons of the sport, which is where she belongs,” a visibly happy Imran said.

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