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Tokyo 2020: ‘I am in my 30s and I’m still here’ – Sania on her retirement plans

Sania will become the first female athlete to represent India in four Olympics.

Sania Mirza
Sania Mirza ( Image Credit: Twitter)

Ace Indian tennis star Sania Mirza is all set to represent India in the Tokyo Olympics. The 34-year-old will become the first female athlete to represent India in four Olympics. While many are wondering if Sania will draw curtains on her career after the mega event in Tokyo, the star Indian has revealed that she is far from over. Sania said that she doesn’t think too much about her retirement and would take it day by day.

“I have had an amazing career,” Olympics.com quoted Sania as saying.

“It’s just about believing in yourself and believing in your abilities. I am in my 30s and I’m still here! I don’t really think too much about it (how long I will play). I take it day by day, I don’t really think too far into the future,” she added.

Sania has a busy calendar ahead. She will feature in several tournaments, including the Wimbledon ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, both scheduled within a month of each other. Sania revealed that she is working hard to stay fit for the mega-events.

“I have been doing a lot of on-court work,” she said. “But I have been training off-court as well. I have been doing a lot of explosive movements and agility stuff just to stay sharp and powerful,” Sania added.

Sania Mirza teamed up with Rohan Bopanna in the 2016 Rio Olympics and reached the semi-finals. However, the pair couldn’t fetch a medal. Sania said while it was heartbreaking to come so close and lose, she is looking forward to breaking the hurdle in Tokyo.

“It was one of the most devastating moments of my life to come that close to winning a medal and not win it,” she said.

“Having said that, I am really looking forward to it. I love representing India, everywhere I play, but especially playing for the country at the Olympics is a matter and pride for all the athletes. I was told if I do play in Tokyo I will have competed in the most number of Olympics by any woman, teaming up with someone else. I am ever so grateful for being here and look forward to my next Olympics.”

Mirza will use her protected world ranking of 9 to enter the Olympics. She will pair with India’s highest-ranked doubles player (95) Ankita Raina in women’s double. This will be the first instance when Sania has a partner with a rank of under 100. Earlier, she paired with Sunitha Rao at Beijing 2008, Rushmi Chakravarthi at London 2012 and Prarthana Thombare at Rio 2016.

“Ankita is a hard-working, sincere girl. She spent some time with me right before the Billie Jean King Cup,” said Sania Mirza

“The first time I met her she was maybe 14 or 15. And she’s very disciplined, which is her biggest strength. I have never gone into the Olympics with a fellow female Indian player who is top-100 in the world. It’s really good to play with someone who is on the tour on a regular basis. She has a long way to go. But at least she’s there, playing every week and kind of understand the level.”

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