Sania Mirza in action in Dubai
Sania Mirza in action in Dubai Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Sania Mirza doesn’t want to look too far ahead as she possibly sees herself at a fourth Olympic Games in Tokyo later this year.

Mirza unwittingly courted controversy in 2012 when both Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna refused to play the men’s doubles alongside Indian legend Leander Paes. The Kolkata boy demanded that he be partnered with Mirza for the mixed doubles, and the Hyderabadi girl went on to accuse the All India Tennis Association (AITA) of using her as ‘bait’ to keep Paes happy as she had sought to play with Bhupathi with whom she had won two Grand Slams.

But Mirza was paired with Paes and the Indian pair lost in the quarter-finals of the mixed doubles in London.

Now with Tokyo 2020 a mere five months away, Mirza is averse to thinking too far ahead.

“I am not thinking about Tokyo at the moment. We have like 15 tournaments before that. I have to think every week that I play. That’s how tennis players are. We don’t have the privilege of preparing for something a few months in advance unfortunately,” Mirza told Gulf News.

“Olympics is something that is special to everybody. It is something that is close to my heart. I can’t really think about what is going to happen in the next few months from now, to be honest. If I were to put myself in a position to compete at my fourth Olympics, then I will feel really privileged."

Paired with Bopanna at the Rio de Janeiro Games four years back, the Indians lost 6-1, 7-5 to Lucie Hradecka and Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic in the mixed doubles bronze medal play-off. “We came really close to winning a medal the last time and we couldn’t. And if last time somebody had told me that I would be playing this Olympics, then I would have said ‘No’ because that’s what I did say at that time [2016] as I knew I wanted to have a family and I didn’t know if I was going to come back,” Mirza said.

“For me, to even come and play at the Olympics would be an amazing experience all over again. That’s it really. We don’t know who is going to be play with who and all that sort of stuff. But closer to the event we will know things for sure."