Sania Mirza will not be competing in the mixed doubles of the Australian Open due to an injury she had sustained last week for which she has been receiving treatment at Melbourne Park.
In the final week of the Hobart International earlier this month, the 33-year-old strained her calf muscle while trying a drop shot but managed to win the tournament despite the injury.
At the Australian Open, she was slated to play in two events, women’s doubles and mixed doubles, but owing to the calf injury, she has now decided to pull out of the latter, scheduled with compatriot Rohan Bopanna.
“It's unfortunate that this niggling injury got aggravated in the Hobart final just as I was getting to the top of my game. It is a lot better now and I intend to give it my best shot in doubles. It's disappointing to miss out on the chance to partner Rohan in mixed," Sania Mirza was reported saying by TNN.
Sania Mirza, however, will continue playing alongside her Ukrainian partner Nadiia Kichenok in the women’s doubles with their first match drawn against Chinese duo of Xinyun Han and Lin Zhu on Thursday.
Returning to court
A former no. 1 and multiple times Grand Slam doubles and mixed doubles champion, Sania Mirza couldn’t have made a stronger comeback to the court after a hiatus of 27 months as she won the Hobart International title on her return.
Travelling with her 15-month old son Izhaan, Sania Mirza started practising for the first time in four days on Wednesday afternoon since winning the hard-court tournament. She reportedly trained with Kichenok for 20 minutes trying to get a feel of the ball and rolling a few serves at an indoor facility.
Sania Mirza was using her protected ranking, which she can use at no more than two Grand Slams, of No. 9 to compete in the season-opening Grand Slam. However, she has to skip one event of this Grand Slam because of the calf injury.
After Sania Mirza’s previous ranking points expired after a year, she had to start from scratch at the Hobart International. But, her stunning victory has taken her individual doubles ranking to No. 265 after just one tournament.
Sania Mirza was initially slated to partner Indian-American Rajeev Ram in the mixed doubles of the Australian Open but the 35-year-old had to pull out of the Grand Slam with viral flu. She then decided to partner Rohan Bopanna before pulling out of the mixed event.
Bopanna will now be partnering Sania Mirza’s women’s doubles partner Nadiia Kichenok in the mixed doubles.