India tennis ace, Sania Mirza, opened up on why she chose tennis over cricket and why Hyderabad has been home to some of the country’s most popular female athletes. Mirza, a six-time Grand Slam champion, also spoke out on her return to tennis post-pregnancy, which made her only the third women after Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters to play professional tennis after becoming a mother. Mirza returned to the tennis circuit in January 2020 after almost a two-year pregnancy break and played the Hobart International before also playing the Australian Open. She had to retire hurt from the opening round of the women’s mixed doubles due to a calf injury. Sania Mirza Sania Mirza Misses Playing Tennis, Can’t Wait to Return to Court (See Post).
Asked on why she chose tennis despite having so many other options (other sports), Sania replied that “My dad used to play cricket. My uncle was a Ranji Trophy player. My Dad’s brother-in-law was an India cricket team captain. So we have lots of cricketers in the family. So the natural progression from me, if I was a boy would have played cricket. There was no other choice. But when I started a women’s cricketer was uncommon.” Sania Mirza Says Need to Be Sensitive While Coaching Young Female Sportspersons.
Sania Mirza in Conversation With Smriti Mandhana & Jemimah Rodrigues
Sania also revealed that she trained in three different sports at her young age. “I used to practise rollerskate, swim and play tennis. My family realised early that I was pretty good in tennis and that’s how I started focusing more on tennis and eventually became a tennis player,” Sania said in a video chat with Indian women cricketers Jemimah Rodrigues and Smriti Mandhana in their Double Trouble show on YouTube.
Sania, who remains Indias’s only Grand Slam-winning Tennis player also spoke out on challenges faced by sportswomen married to cricketers. Mandhana asked her about the tweet she had made regarding Mitchell Starc flying to watch wife Alyssa Healy play in the 2020 ICC T20 World Cup final against India. Sania had made a hilarious tweet on Starc supporting his wife while also exposing the stereotype that exists in Indian society.
“Me and Anushka relate to this the most. whenever our husbands perform it is because of them and whenever they don’t it is because of us. I don’t know how that works, There is a much deeper issue is that women can always be a distraction but not a strength,” she said in the show. That’s a cultural issue. ‘Oh, if your girlfriend or wife is there and you are going out for dinner, you are distracted.’ That doesn’t make sense,” Mirza said.
“When he went back to his wife for the World Cup final, everybody was hailing him. I was trying to picture Shoaib [Malik] do that for me, hell would have broken loose. Anushka and I had a long conversation about it afterwards.” Sania is currently is home quarantine with her son 17-month old child son Izhaan and plans to resume practising tennis once the coronavirus pandemic situation ends.