Sania says it is more challenging to play after becoming a mother

“I still have a few more years of tennis left in me at the top level,” said six-time Grand Slam winner Sania Mirza.

The 35-year-old Sania, who will be making a record-breaking 53rd Grand Slam appearance for an Indian woman when she competes in the doubles at the 2022 Australian Open, felt tennis is a physically demanding sport.

“After becoming a mother, it is more challenging. I put on more weight and therefore need to work even harder,” she said in a chat with The Hindu.

It will be her 15th Australian Open appearance — she made her debut in 2005, won the mixed doubles title with Mahesh Bhupathi in 2009 and the women’s doubles title partnering Martina Hingis in 2016.

Sania’s career in a glance

This will be her 15th Australian Open appearance

She made her debut in 2005.

She won the mixed doubles title with Bhupathi in 2009.

Won the women’s doubles title partnering Martina Hingis in 2016.

Sania has the rare distinction of being runner-up in mixed doubles on three more occasions with Bhupathi, Horia Tecau and Ivan Dodig.

She will be partnering Nadiia Kichenok in women’s doubles and American of Indian origin, Rajeev Ram, in mixed doubles.

“It remains to be seen if Sania and Ram will make the cut for the mixed event or not,” said Imran Mirza, father-cum-coach, who is accompanying Sania to Melbourne.

“It was a pretty good run-up to the Australian Open for Sania having entered the women’s doubles semifinals with Kichenok in the Adelaide International 2022 before losing to Ashleigh Barty and Storm Sanders,” he said.

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