A stomach muscle injury has cut short Sania Mirza's 2007 season in its final leg, leaving the 20-year-old's hopes of being seeded at next year's Australian Open hanging in balance.
Mirza suffered the injury during her quarterfinal loss to Flavia Pennetta in Japan two weeks ago but played in the Tier I tournaments of Moscow and Zurich with aim of reaching her season's goal of reaching number 25 in world rankings. But that was not to be as she lost in the first round in both the weeks, to Gisela Dulko and Michaella Krajicek respectively. "A victory in round one of either Moscow or Zurich would have fetched her 60 WTA points and that would have ensured her goal," Imran Mirza, the Hyderabadi player's father, said.
Mirza, who returned to her home in Hyderabad last night, was scheduled to play in the next two weeks in Austria ($600,000) and Canada ($175,000) from where she has since withdrawn, her father added.
Imran Mirza, however, confirmed that his daughter would play in the Hopman Cup, the mixed team event to be played in Perth, Australia, from December 30. Rohan Bopanna is the other member of the Indian team.
The flip side of playing in the Hopman Cup is that Sania Mirza would end the year with her current ranking of 30 or below. Only the top 32 get seeded in Grand Slams. The Australian Open starts on Jan 14.
But Mirza was intent on pushing such thoughts out of her mind for the moment.
"I am mentally tired and my body is crying out for a break. I'm looking forward to a rest and then a great season next year," Mirza said.
"It has been a long and hard year for me, where I had to make repeated comebacks from two serious injuries (knee and wrist) and a surgery."