KOLKATA: Indian tennis star Sania Mirza said on Saturday that she will not be taking part in the Australian Open early next year due to a right knee injury.
“Basically I have something that’s called a jumper’s knee. So it’s extremely painful…like I am okay to walk but it’s painful to change directions and play. That’s the biggest problem. So I can run straight but I can’t actually do plyometric stuff on it,” the 31-year-old told reporters on the sidelines of the Premjit Lall Invitational Tennis Tournament at the Jaidip Mukherjea Academy.
“When I spoke to my doctor a couple of months ago, they told me to take a couple of months off, then see how it feels before getting into a process of either surgery or injections or whatever. “So when I saw them, the pain wasn’t less after two months. So now we have to take a call whether we have to do a surgery or take a couple of injections. “So it’s a little up in the air. I can’t tell you a definitive when but it won’t be before the next couple of months atleast. I will be missing the Australian Open for sure,” Sania added.
Sania said she will need time to get back on the court though expressing hope that she will take part in the Commonwealth Games (April 4 to 15) and Asian Games (August 18 – September 2) next year. “Hopefully I will be okay for that. I’ve always said that every time people ask me about plans ahead, as tennis players we don’t know about our health. We don’t know where will be at that point. It’s still one year, it’s a long time anything can happen. Hopefully I’ll be healthy again,” the 31-year old former world No.1 in the women’s doubles said.
Sania was the guest of honour in the three-day event along with former Indian tennis great Vijay Amritraj and Somdev Devvarman. Asked if seeing so many kids in the academy asking for her autograph and a selfie reminded her of the first time she held a tennis racket, Sania said: “I was six years old. The coach did not want to take me as I was too small to play tennis at that time. My mum had to force him to take me. It was a big argument and then he took me.
“After a month, he called my parents and said ‘you have to come and watch her play because I’ve never seen a six-year old play like that. That’s how I remember my first memory of holding a tennis racquet.” At the podium while giving away awards, Sania wished she spent more time playing in India. “It’s good to be back in Kolkata. When Jaidip da calls us we come and that’s why we come.
I miss playing in India. I am hoping for a women’s tournament as well,” Sania said.