Sania Mirza is ready to hit the court again, signing to play the Hobart International with Nadiia Kichenok in the third week of January. Sania will also compete in the mixed doubles at the Australian Open with Rajeev Ram, hoping to find the form as early as possible and get back where she belongs.
The six-time Grand Slam champion and the winner of 41 WTA doubles titles had to miss the last two seasons after giving birth to a son Izhaan in October 2018. A former world no. 1 and the conqueror of three different Majors in both doubles and mixed doubles was the dominant figure on the Tour in 2015 and 2016 with Martina Hingis, splitting with the Swiss and starting to compete with various partners in 2017, winning the crown in Brisbane with Bethanie Mattek-Sands and reaching the latter stages in Sydney, Doha, Dubai and Miami with Barbora Strycova.
Backed by Shuai Peng, Mirza was the semi-finalist at the US Open, Wuhan and Beijing, her last tournaments before taking a break and focusing on her pregnancy. In December last year, Sania said she targets the end of 2019 for a possible comeback but that didn't happen, taking more time to work on her physical shape and choosing Hobart as her first stop on the comeback trail, feeling ready to play competitive matches again.
At the age of 33, the injury-prone player wants to do everything right and do her best to extend career and play on a high level again. Mirza has been working hard on her physical shape, untroubled by big expectations, targets and goals, ready to take every potentially notable result as a bonus and also mentioning the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as the most significant event she is looking for.
"I am playing in Hobart and then the Australian Open and probably in Mumbai in February if my wrist allows that. There are a lot of changes when you have a baby, with your routine and sleep pattern changes. I feel fit; my body is where it used to be before I had the baby.
It was only six-seven months ago, where I thought about it as a realistic possibility. Three months ago, I got this Chikungunya virus that was a setback, keeping me seek for two weeks. I have left wrist pain out of the blue because of this virus, and it can last up to three months to one year.
All and all I feel good, today I can tell you that I am ready to compete again. Of course, it will take me time to the level that I had before but it is a good start for me to feel good physically," Mirza said.