Sania Mirza on retirement: Important for me to do things on my own terms

Products You May Like

Why is Sania Mirza going ahead with her retirement plan despite just reaching a Grand Slam final? For the same reason she pushed back her retirement back from 2022 when she suffered a season-ending injury: her desire to do it all on her own terms.

“I want people to ask me why I’m retiring, rather than when. It is very important for me to do things on my own terms. That’s how I’ve lived my life, and whether that’s on the court or off it,” she told ESPN in an interview.

“There are a bunch of reasons that I’m stopping but yes, it is very important for me to be leaving the game on the top… Today, I can sit here right after a Grand Slam final and say I want to quit playing and some people are like, ‘are you crazy?’ No, my priorities are different now,” she added.

This was evident when she decided to not retire at the end of 2022 as planned because an elbow injury ended her season early. Any other player may have taken that as a sign in their final season, but not Sania. She trained again for her curtain call and got a fitting ceremony as she reached the final of her last Grand Slam partnering fellow Indian Rohan Bopanna.

However, she is aware that this very focus on training to be at her best is what’s chipping away at her motivation after more than two decades of playing tennis. “I really think that it’s time because I should not have to push myself to go and do something that I love so much,” she said.

“The amount of work that’s going into me actually getting on the court for those two hours – and everybody’s watching those two hours – but the amount of work that’s going into it for me to be there…I just don’t have that drive anymore. Today, I’ve spent four hours and I just don’t have that in the long run. And that’s when I really knew, when the days of not wanting to go and do that were getting more and more often,” she explained.

“I truly believe that in order to be the best version of yourself in whatever you’re doing, you need to enjoy it and if you’re not enjoying the entire process, then I don’t think that it’s for you,” she added.

In true Sania Mirza fashion, even this realisation comes with her dose of forthrightness. “I want to do things because I want to do them not because I’ve been able to do them or because somebody is telling me. I can understand why that can be a problem to some people. But that’s just my life and the way that I see life.”

Sania will delve into a new role after her playing career when she joins the Royal Challengers Bangalore as a mentor for the inaugural Women’s Premier League, set to begin on March 4.

The most striking emotion she feels as she nears the end of her playing career is gratitude. “I feel very grateful for the journey I’ve had, for how long it’s been… sometimes I close my eyes and wonder has it’s been 20 years of doing this. Sometimes I feel like it was very long. But most times I feel like great… and so grateful for the things that I’ve been able to achieve.”

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Garbine Muguruza kondigt terugtrekking aan uit de WTA Tour
Emma Raducanu reaches quarter-finals in Stuttgart
French team secures semi-final spot in 2024 Senior Plus Worlds
Alex de Minaur Verslaat Rafael Nadal en Maakt Tennisgeschiedenis
Emma Raducanu: Triumph in Stuttgart