Tokyo Games in 2021 another medal chance for Sania Mirza

Six-time Grand Slam winner Sania said that losing the mixed doubles match before going into the medal round in Rio was the most heartbreaking experience.

Sania Mirza believes that the postponement of the originally scheduled 2020 Olympics has given another chance to realise her dream of a medal in the Games.   -  FILE PHOTO/ V.V. SUBRAHMANYAM

 

Six-time Grand Slam winner Sania Mirza believes that the postponement of the originally scheduled 2020 Olympics has given another chance to realise her dream of a medal in the Games in what could be her fourth appearance next year.

The 33-year-old star player, during an interaction on Airbnb's ‘Staying Healthy with Sania Mirza’ on Tuesday, said that losing the mixed doubles match before going into the medal round in 2016 Rio Olympics was the most heartbreaking experience of her life. She never thought she could have another go at the Games.

"Definitely, one-and-a-half years is pretty long before the next Olympics in 2021, especially in an athlete’s life. Lot of careers can be destroyed too. But, I do feel it gives me an opportunity to win one medal. I will be 34 next year but honestly hopeful of another try,” said the six-time Grand Slam winner.

Sania rates her win in Hobart WTA final in Australia in January this year, after a two-year maternity break, higher than any other big wins. “That win surprised many including myself, for sure it was a struggle to be there again in the competitive circuit,” she said.

READ| Serena Williams to return to action at Top Seed Open in August

“I had to do a lot of juggling of roles - being a mother, wife, daughter, tennis player. I had to overcome physical adversity and also stay mentally focussed. Honestly, I never went into any sort of depression,” she said.

On dealing with failure, the former World No. 1 in women’s doubles said, “You should always believe that there will be another day which can be yours. As in sport where you always have the next match, in life too, there is always the other side after a failure,” she said.

 “You put yourself in a bubble, believe in your ability. My parents taught me to be humble, take success and failure in my stride with same ease. They taught me to know the roots, made me think positive and gave the kind of freedom which helped me take decisions even while there were some mistakes which they corrected at the right time,” she added.

“Personally, I am sort of a rebel. If you say, I can’t do this or that, then I will be determined to do that. I always believed that I can be the best in whatever I do. That is not overconfidence but self-belief,” said Sania, who is a big fan of German great Steffi Graff.

Staying fit for tennis

Besides cardio exercises, she has been doing yoga too. “Definitely, losing 26 kg of in four months after being blessed with a boy (Izhaan) was a different kind of challenge and I handled it with complete stubbornness,” she said.

“Well, though I am a foodie, I have not taken sweets or cheese cakes for a long time now and not even samosas which was crazy when my family members were relishing them,” she said.

Sania demonstrated a few exercises online reminding that she converted her ‘trophy room’ into a home gym and said that even 20 to 30 minutes of exercise can make anyone feel good.

Support Sportstar


Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

Read the Free eBook

  Dugout videos