It’s been an eventful year for Indian tennis star Sania Mirza.
The COVID-19 pandemic aside, this season saw Sania return to the court after giving birth to her son Izhaan.
Back in action at the season-opening Hobart International WTA event, Sania Mirza along with her Ukrainian partner Nadiia Kichenok hit the ground running with a title win before an injury sidelined her from the Australian Open.
Speaking about her time away from the court, Sania Mirza, in an open letter titled An Ode to All Mothers, said that it was a period she will not trade for anything in her life. “Pregnancy and having a baby made me a better person,” Sania Mirza wrote.
“Pregnancy is something that I had experienced for the first time in my life. I thought about it and I think we all have a certain picture about it. But once you experience it, you really understand what it means. It absolutely changes you as a human being.
“It’s an experience that teaches you to respect yourself and your body, and also teaches you the selfless kind of love that at least I never knew existed for me.”
With her body undergoing numerous physical changes during the course of the pregnancy, Sania Mirza admitted that there were moments when she doubted if she could ever return to competitive tennis. But her determination drove her towards the goal.
“Getting back to shape and form after pregnancy can be a challenge. I can relate to Serena Williams and every other woman on that. I think it’s normal for everyone because you don’t know how your body is going to react post-pregnancy and during pregnancy,” the 34-year-old Sania stated.
“Having put on around 23kgs during my pregnancy, I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to get back to being fit and playing tennis again.
“However, I lost around 26kgs with a lot of workout regimes and strict diets and came back to tennis because that’s what I know, love and do. Finally, when I won at Hobart after coming back, it was pretty amazing.”
Sania Mirza went on to cap off her return by leading the Indian team to the Fed Cup play-offs for the first time in history before the pandemic and the travel restrictions brought the season to a halt.