Sania says she will quit tennis after marriage

Last Updated 14 January 2010, 10:59 IST

Sania, who got engaged to childhood friend Sohrab Mirza in July 2009, did not elaborate when she plans to marry but said she will bid adieu to the game after tying the nuptial knot.
"As of now, I don't intend to play professionally after marriage but that is still some time away," Sania said.

Before getting engaged to the Indian tennis diva, Sohrab had said that Sania will have complete freedom in making her career decisions.

"She has my complete support and backing in whatever she wishes. It is completely her decision for how long she wishes to play," Sohrab had said in June.

So when asked if it was purely her decision to quit the game after marriage, Sania's father Imran Mirza said, "It's her decision for now. If later she decides to play after marriage, its her choice."

Ever since turning pro in 2003, Sania has been the face of Indian tennis on the WTA circuit.

She also became India's first female Grand Slam winner when she won the Australian Open mixed doubles title with compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi last year.

Sania's start to the 2010 season though was far from impressive as she lost in the second round of the Auckland event, followed by a first round defeat at the Hobart event but the Hyderabadi is hardly perturbed.

"I think after competing for seven years as a professional and ranked five years in the singles top-100, I've reached a stage in my career where my performance cannot be judged on the basis of one or a few tournaments," she said.

"Wins and losses are part of the game and in a truly global sport like tennis where more than 220 countries compete seriously, except for the top-10 players, nobody wins too consistently," Sania added.

All that the Indian wants now is to stay away from injuries in the new season. Her wrist injury in 2008 had forced her to spend half the year out of court.

"I am approaching 2010 like any other year. I expect to continue to work hard, try my very best and leave the rest to God. I would like to stay away from any serious injuries during 2010," she said.

Talking about the year gone by, Sania says she is happy with the way she performed in 2009 although there were only a few moments of glory for her.

Apart from the triumph at the Australian Open which was followed by the final appearance in Pattaya and a win over Shahar Peer were the only high points of Sania's stay on the tour, last season.

However, the Indian said after losing many a weeks due to pain, the results achieved were satisfactory.

"As a matter of fact, I did play the semifinals in singles in Birmingham and Osaka and won an ITF title in USA besides making the final of a USD 100,000 event in Canada.
"I had singles wins over players like Bartoli and Shahar Peer. Apart from this, I won a doubles title in Ponte Vedra Beach.

"I finished at a singles ranking of 57 after having dropped to the 120's following my wrist injury. I also had to skip several weeks due to the niggling pain. So, under the circumstances, I'm reasonably happy with my performance," she said. 

(Published 14 January 2010, 10:59 IST)

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