By Puja Gupta
New Delhi, July 16 (IANSlife) Tennis ace Sania Mirza says during the lockdown she missed playing matches on court the most; for which she worked hard and even got back in shape after delivering a baby. Mirza made her comeback to tennis earlier in January this year, when she won the Hobart International before playing an integral role in helping India seal a historic play-off spot in the Fed Cup. However, her comeback came to a quick halt due to the pandemic and resulting freeze in the tennis calendar.
“I worked really hard to get back to playing, getting back in shape and fit and also winning. So I’m obviously missing playing tennis on court. Another thing I’m missing the most is competing – in a sense matches,” the 33-year-old tells IANSlife. Sania was set to participate at Indian Wells which was scheduled to take place in March 2020 but was eventually postponed.
As the pandemic has severely hit 2020 sports calendar with all major sporting events being cancelled or postponed, Sania feels everyone should look at the bigger picture post the pandemic.
“It’s tough times for all of us and but I think that we have the time to look at the bigger picture and hopefully come out on the better side of this pandemic. Staying positive, optimistic is probably one of the ways out. Staying healthy and close to your family and friends is one of the most important ways on how you’re going to be able to come to this,” she believes.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics which was scheduled to start on July 24 has also been postponed until next year. However, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) along with Airbnb have organised a five-day online summer festival where more than 100 Olympian and Paralympians’ will share their experiences.
Sania will be participating in the event, starting on the same day when the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 were originally scheduled to begin. She will be sharing her postpartum weight-loss journey and tips on mental-wellness.
“My experience is going to be about mental and physical well-being. I’ve lost a lot of weight which I had gained when I was pregnant. I had put in a lot of physical effort, and also focused on mental health and wellbeing. I think it’s a great opportunity for people to have these experiences with world-class athletes. And since we don’t have the Olympics this year, I think that this is a good way of connecting with a lot of people and to keep everyone engaged. I’m just going to show some exercises which have helped me in my functional training and staying active and healthy,” Sania tells IANSlife.
The pro reveals that staying healthy and fit comes naturally to her and physical exercises help her keep positive even in tough situations. “I think it is inbuilt in me to be healthy and to try and keep fit. But I also think, mentally it helps me a lot it keeps me strong. When I do this physical work a couple hours a day, it helps me to be positive in such tough situations.”
Even during the lockdown, Sania says she did not miss exercising for more than a couple of days in a row. Being the mother of a one-year-old, she says to find the timing and balance is very important. “Balance is the key to everything. Thankfully I’ve got some space in my house. So I did play tennis as well for a while but once the cases started going up I had to stop because I didn’t want to take a chance with a toddler at home. I still workout for a couple of hours in a day. My sister and I started a small business. We have an office in our house only. So I used to help her out. Nothing major to be very honest, did a little bit of baking here and there but that’s really it,” she concludes.
(Puja Gupta can be contacted at [email protected])