Olympic medal is the target even as Mirza reaches Qatar semis
March 03 2021 10:58 PM
File photo of India's Sania Mirza. (AFP)
File photo of India's Sania Mirza. (AFP)

Continuing her winning return to the WTA circuit, Indian star Sania Mirza reached the doubles semi-finals of the Qatar Total Open with Slovenian partner Andreja Klepac at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex on Wednesday.

Former World No. 1 Mirza and Klepac sailed into the final four with a straight sets 6-2, 6-0 win over their higher-ranked rivals, fourth seeds Anna Blinkova and Gabriela Dabrowski.

It was Mirza’s first tournament in 12 months. Incidentally, it was at the same tournament, where she played last in February 2020 before pandemic halted the Tour. Mirza herself had recovered from Covid-19 in January this year.

“I feel okay. I mean, considering I haven’t played in a year, I feel good,” she said.

“I mean, I have a little bit of, like, some issue — just a little bit of muscle issue but nothing, like, serious. But that’s to be expected because I’m playing after so long, so my body is getting used to it a little bit,” the 34-year-old said.

Mirza is also looking at a new season ahead with the Tokyo Olympics an added motivation.

“Olympics is definitely one of the reasons that I would like to put myself in that position, to be able to compete at my fourth Olympics if I do make it. We came really, really close to winning that medal last time. You know, we lost the bronze medal match, but I feel like when I sort of close this chapter of my life, which is tennis, I feel like if I look back, probably an Olympic medal is something that I would have loved to win if I was supposed to close my chapter today.

“So I want to give myself another shot at it, sure. Whether I can be or will I be able to, time will tell. But, yes, that is something that is important to me. It's something that I have thought about, and it was one of the motivations for me to come back,” the six-time Grand Slam winner said.

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