Monday, October 20, 2008
NEW DELHI: Forced to stay away from courts for almost half the season, a fit again Sania Mirza is eyeing a comeback at January's Classic tennis tournament in Hong Kong and revealed that she almost sunk into depression while struggling to recover from a wrist injury.
The Indian ace is out of action since Beijing Olympics, where her wrist injury flared up again and she had to concede her first round singles match.
Sharing the trauma she faced when she ran out of options to get her wrist healed, she said it was difficult to cope with the situation at that time.
"It was scary. It was career threatening. I was almost going through depression. I think the post-injury period is more difficult to cope with and I am happy to be back. But I never doubted that I cannot make a comeback ," Sania, who is in capital for the treatment, said.
Sania said she was keen to make a comeback but was not in a hurry. She confirmed that she will play a team tournament in Hong Kong in January before resuming her Tour activities.
"It is a big honour to represent Asia. It is great to be a part of such a large field, where you have players like (Jelena) Jankovic and (Maria) Sharapova. But we still have two-and-a-half months to go and it is very long period in tennis," she said after spending about an hour on the DLTA courts, practicing with Radhika Tulpule.
Talking about the next season, she said she was approaching it cautiously.
"I don't want to jump the gun. I want to take it day by day. If tomorrow it hurts again, I have to take rest again. But now it is good I am not feeling any pain while hitting. I am back to my routine. And it's great to be back," Sania said.
Australian physiotherapist Amir Takla and many other suggested a surgery for healing the injured wrist and then on the recommendation of Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh, Sania consulted Jatin Choudhry, who by applying spiral therapy healed her injury in a very short period.
"It is great blessing. I am lucky to find somebody like Jatin. It was almost a desperate time. Then he came and did a miracle," Sania said.
"A lot of people thought that I needed another surgery to heal and said it was the only option. There were countless MRIs and I was running around hospitals. So, it is really miraculous to have it healed like this.
"He (Yuvraj) said 'why don't you try and give it a shot'. I did not have a choice. He really played a big part (in healing the wrist)," she said.
"It's almost two weeks that I have been hitting the ball and it's pain free. I am also surprised (by the fast recovery). It's a Korean Therapy and it worked on me. By God's grace it is going well and very close to how it was before the injury," she added.
Sania, who has courted one or the other controversy in her career at regular intervals, also made it clear that idea of not playing in India never crossed her mind.
After the flag controversy during the Hopman cup, Sania had spoke of not playing in India but insisted that it never meant that she will not play in her home country forever.
"I never said I do not want to play in India. It was something put into my mouth and blown out of proportion. I had just said that 'this week (Bangalore Open) I don't want to play'.
"I love playing in India and who would not want play before the home crowd and fans. I would play tournament in India if it suits my Tour schedule," she said.
Sania though utilised her absence from the court to improve her fitness. She is looking in a lot better shape and she revealed how she did it.
"I was getting obsessed to run. I was on the treadmill. I needed to take care of the upper part of the body. I did lot of cardios. Going to gym, getting rehabilitation. And I think it was a blessing in disguise," she said.
She might be on the verge of crashing out of top-100 in the world rankings, but Sania says it does not affect her.
"Rankings have never bothered me. As a player the benchmark for me is how you feel on the court. If I play crap on court and I am ranked 20 that does not make me a great tennis player. Important is how I feel. So I am not worried about the falling rankings.
"And it is not that I am playing bad and my ranking is falling, I am not playing at all," she signed off.