MUMBAI: In a career already painfully punctuated with injuries, Sania Mirza seems to have hit another roadblock. A tough year, which saw her ranking slip from No 1 to No 12, may well end in surgery for the Indian ace. “I have a bit of a knee injury now, but I have to see if I need surgery or not, because I have had a bit of a problem,” Mirza said on the sidelines of the Indian Sports Honours in Mumbai on Saturday evening. “I’ve been off for about a month, but I have a couple more weeks now to get some rest and get used to it.”
Always a showstopper, the well-rested Mirza turned up for the red carpet event in a metallic grey suit and stiletto heels. The injury late in the season has thrown a spanner in her plans, not only for the off-season but for the coming year as well. The upcoming season is crucial on the national front since the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games are scheduled in 2018. It was an anti-climatic end to a year that began with such promise for the 30-year-old.
Despite her high-profile partnership with Martina Hingis ending in August 2016, Mirza was the top-ranked doubles player at the year-end. She had joined forces with the experienced Bethanie Mattek-Sands and won the first WTA event of the year in Brisbane.
However, that would eventually be the only silver lining in an otherwise barren season. With her partners struggling with injury or form, Mirza was also not able to settle in a team. She partnered eight different players during the season and had only one title and two finals appearances.
“It was a tough year with my partners getting injured. All in all, I still finished close to top 10, so I am happy with the year,” said the Indian, who has won all three women’s doubles Grand Slams with Hingis.
Mirza, once ranked 27 in the world in singles, had made the switch to doubles on account of the multiple surgical procedures she has undergone. Struggling to keep up with the increasing physicality of the sport, the hard-hitting Mirza had undergone two wrist surgeries and three knee surgeries by 2011.
It was in 2013 that Mirza started playing doubles exclusively and has excelled at it since, rising to No 1 in the world in April 2015.