She hustled her way into DLTA engrossed in punching the keys of her phone. As she walked down the broken alleys of the premises, all eyes otherwise glued on the DSCL Nationals matches were trained on her in a flash.
Looking as lean and fit as ever in a red shorts and a black t-shirt, Sania Mirza chatted with her friends for a while, before getting on to the court for a practice session.
Sania has returned to the courts after being out of action after a two-month injury layoff. Undergoing treatment for her right wrist in the Capital, Sania after hitting the ball hard for over an hour, said she was pain-free and was completely fit.
"I am surprised how well the treatment has worked for me. I have been hitting the ball for over two weeks now and am feeling very good," said Sania, currently ranked 98 in the world. Sania said it was very difficult to cope with the injury after her breakdown at the Beijing Olympics. "I was totally depressed. The first few days were a daze for me. All I was doing was running in and out of hospitals undergoing X-rays. Many doctors said they couldn't understand why the pain in the wrist was recurring," said the 22-year-old. "Rehabilitation and strengthening, however, brought me back to my to routine."
Talking about the season next year, Sania said she was taking it one day at a time. "I don't want to jump the gun. You never know what might happen tomorrow. If my wrist starts hurting again then I will be off again," said Sania, matter-of-factly.
Hitting the ball hard, with her ferocious forehand very much back now, Sania elaborated on how difficult it is to get back into the grove mentally. "It is a process. For me the post-period of an injury is very difficult. You have a lot of self-doubts like 'Oh, you are never going to play like you have before'. But that is something you have to get over with and move on."
On what she was up to during her time off, Sania said: "I was in the gym, running and doing cardios for four hours a day. As a result to which, I'm feeling much lighter on the court." Sania said she would be leading the Asian contingent at a team event in Honk Kong in January next year. "It is a very big honour for me especially with players like Maria Sharapova, Venus Williams, Jelena Jankovic making such a huge field. However, I am not going to be jumping the gun."
Sania to play in India
Denying she had ever refused to play in India, Sania said nothing could match-up playing in front of the home crowd. Sania had pulled out of the WTA Bangalore Open earlier this year stating that playing in India had often landed her into controversies. "I never said I will not play in India. I said I won't be able to play that particular week (Bangalore Open) as it was not suiting my schedule and I was tired as well.
Everything was blown out of proportion and words were put in my mouth. I would love to play in India. Who wouldn't want to play in front of home crowd. All depends on whether it suits my schedule."