Dubai: Sania Mirza, the world No. 1 doubles tennis champion from India, will be in action at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships with French playing partner Caroline Garcia - but it nearly wasn't to be
The Indian 33-year-old was forced to retire injured during a match at the Australian Open last month and is only appearing in Dubai thanks to some intense physiotherapy that she received at a Dubai hospital.
Mirza returned to action earlier this year after giving birth to her first child with husband Shoaib Malik, and won the Hobarts International title alongside Nadiia Kichenok on January 18. However, she suffered a calf injury during the Australian Open the following week amd it was unclear if sher would make it to Dubai.
However, structured physiotherapy sessions at the Burjeel Hospital rehabilitation unit for the last fortnight have healed her injury and doctors working on Mirza have deemed her fit enough to return to action.
Dr Faisal Hayat Khan, Chief Physiotherapist at the Burjeel Hospital for Advanced Surgery (BHAS) in Dubai, said Mirza has completely recovered and was fit to play the tournament. Dr Khan has been treating the tennis star at the hospital. “She strained her calf muscle during the Hobart final. But it became worse later that she had to exit midway through the match in the Australian Open. We have been doing physiotherapy and muscle strengthening exercises. Sania has resumed practice and she is completely fit now,” Dr Khan, who has been treating Sania for about a decade now, said.
Mirza said: “Quitting a grand slam tournament due to an injury is a sad experience. Especially, when you are back into the game after a long break. But thanks to my physio Dr Faisal who made me fit for the tournament. I have started practicing and look forward to a great game."
Commenting on calf injuries, Dr Harold Vanderschmidt, Sports Medicine Specialist at Burjeel Hospital, said the time for recovery depends on the grade of the injury. “In case of a grave injury or a partial tear, it would take up to six weeks to heal.”
Dr Shajir Gaffar, CEO of VPS Healthcare Dubai and Northern Emirates, said: "We are extremely happy to learn that Sania has recovered and she will be playing the Dubai Open. “She has been a reguar guest at our hospital whenever she required our services. It is a matter of privilege for us. We wish her all the best for the championship."
Mirza will be pairing up with her French partner Garcia in the doubles for their first match on Wednesday.