Former World No. 1 Sania Mirza was forced to withdraw from her first round women's doubles match at the Australian Open on Thursday due to a calf injury. The same injury had forced her to pull out of the mixed doubles event yesterday.
The Indian had picked up the injury while she won the tournament in Hobart last week, her first event in two years after a maternity break. Mirza and Ukraine's Nadiia Kichenok, the same partner she won Hobart with, were trailing the Chinese pair of Xinyun Han and Lin Zhu 2-6, 0-1 when the Indian had to call it quits due to the injury.
Speaking to reporters later, Mirza commented, "It just got worse in the match. It was bit of a bad strain, but I had a few days off. So I obviously had to try to do whatever I could to try to get on the court. It felt okay when I went on the court, but it was tough to move right.
I just felt like I'm gonna tear it or something pretty bad." Mirza is a former champion here in Melbourne, winning the women's doubles event in 2016 and the mixed doubles event in 2009. She commented, "As a tennis player you want to compete, it is the Grand Slam.
If it's any other tournament, you would probably take a call and be like 'I don't want to risk it' When you play a professional sport, injuries are really part of it. And it's something that you have to accept.
Sometimes the timing is really not ideal, it's tough that it happened in a Grand Slam, or just before a Grand Slam." Mirza said she was hoping to play next at the WTA Dubai championships in February.