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Sania Mirza considering singles return

China Open doubles champion says knee injury could decide her future

Gulf News

Beijing: Indian tennis player Sania Mirza is mulling over a singles comeback, but only if her knee stands up to the rigours of the season.

“I really don’t know about next year as yet because I feel like playing singles again. But, then again, it’s a day-to-day thing. I feel every morning I can play singles as sometimes the body feels better than the other days,” Mirza told Gulf News after she and Spaniard Nuria Llagostera Vives lost to her former partner Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova in the women’s doubles final at the China Open here.

“If I do decide to play singles again, then the schedule will have to be tweaked a little bit so that I get to play a few smaller tournaments till I get to the top 100. If I don’t, then that will be due to the knee. That’s the only thing that is keeping me back from taking that decision.”

Mirza, who has a career-best WTA singles ranking of 27, has already started concentrating on her singles game again. “I want to play, but it’s just the knee that is bothering me again. Even though I am practising singles again, it’s already bothering me,” she said.

“If it does not cause too much of a bother then probably I will do Brisbane, Sydney and then the Australian Open. Then there is also the Auckland Open and a new tournament in China in the first week [of next season].”

Given her better record in doubles competitions, choosing future partners will be another crucial element for Mirza. “It’s still up in the air. There are a lot of partners who I have been contacting and there are others who have been getting in touch with me,” she said.

“There are still two-and-a-half months for the year to get over and it is just a matter of time until I have something more concrete. I will take that decision on the doubles when I have some time off.

“The first thing is to take a couple of weeks off and give myself the time to think about it. If I have to see about my singles game and take a doubles player as well, then she [doubles partner] will want a commitment. So I have to wait. It’s all up in the air at the moment.”