Sania Mirza could not have hoped for a better return to competitive tennis after her maternity break. Mirza won the Hobart International on Saturday on her 'second debut' in tennis, and had inspiring words regarding her comeback and being a parent.
Mirza was speaking to reporters before the Australian Open tournament and mentioned how it giving birth to a baby is not the end of the world and that women can continue to chase their dreams. "I feel especially in the part of the world that I come from when women have a kid or kids, it's treated as kind of an end of their world, it's all about the children. I feel that women are made to feel if they go out and chase their dreams, they're probably not the best mothers in the world. I hope that changes. I hope that if my victory or even one match can inspire even one woman to follow her dream or heart, I would be really, really privileged."
Mirza and her partner Nadiia Kichenok defeated Zhang Shuai and Peng Shuai 6-4 6-4 to claim the doubles trophy. In October 2018, she gave birth to a boy, Izhaan, and has been on a steady recovery path since then. Speaking of her recovery, she said, "Right after I had the baby I was breastfeeding and to find the time to just lose weight - I gained 23 kilos - it was as basic as that. The struggle like this is real. Physically it was tough. I lost 26 kilos and then I started tennis training. However, I think mentally it was pretty hard initially to leave my son and go train and find those few hours. That's something I really encourage new mothers to do because I think it kept me sane as well. But it's a tough thing to do. In three weeks I was back to starting to lose weight and exercise. Emotionally - not so much mentally - but emotionally it was tough."
"I'm just really happy to be back playing tennis. It's been a long time... I think I speak for all the players, this is probably the best slam there is. I'm really excited to be back."— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2020
We're so happy to have you back, @MirzaSania 🙌#AusOpen | #AO2020 | #DoublesDownunder pic.twitter.com/LZBPUtGQbV
Mirza will be playing alongside Kichenok during the inaugural Grand Slam and will face Xinyun Han and Lin Zhu in the first round.
(With inputs from WTA)