Sania Mirza will be playing the mixed-doubles category of the Australian Open alongside Rohan Bopanna. The development comes after Rajeev Ram opted out due to health reasons.
In an exclusive interview with news agency PTI, Mirza was asked whether the decision was not made before the beginning considering the Tokyo Olympics, she said,
"We don't focus on something that will happen after seven months and there are 15 tournaments to be played before that, it's not a privilege that tennis players have. I had already spoken to Rajeev in November but he fell sick. I asked Rohan and he said yes, so we decided to play. Olympics is something that is at the back of my head but I am not completely focused on it as of now. I am focussing on every match and tournament I play now."
Mirza won the Hobart International doubles on Saturday alongside Nadiia Kichenok. It was Mirza's first competitive tournament after a two-year maternity break.
She will be playing the women's doubles at the Australian Open alongside Kichenok.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday, she said that she hoped to inspire more women to not give up on chasing their dreams after giving birth.
"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 has won 42 doubles titles and has been working steadily to return to professional tennis soon after her the birth of her son, Izhaan. She said that she thought she might be rusty and was playing with no expectations.
"It's something I did not expect totally, so to say, but I am excited to be able to do this in my first tournament on comeback. I honestly thought I would be a bit rustier than I was. I was pleasantly surprised that I was not as rusty as I thought. But there are things I can improve upon and that is what makes a champion. You always want to get better in what you are doing, no matter how well you do."