Indian tennis star Sania Mirza is still firm on her decision to retire at the end of the current season and cited her age and lack of fast recovery as well as family priorities as the reason behind her decision to leave behind the sport in an interview with NDTV.
She had hinted that the retirement would be soon after a first round exit from the Australian Open on Wednesday.
"i do think that my body takes longer to recover. I have had three major surgeries, two knees and a wrist, and the body is just not responding the way I want it to respond. Maybe I am expecting too much out of my body too, the fact that I have had a baby and my body has gone through a lot," the tennis ace told NDTV.
She also said that while reporters seemed taken aback by her decision, they ought to have expected it given that she was 35 years old. Mirza said she did regret announcing her decision early and should have probably moved it to later in the year.
Regretting the fact that she could not continue being an inspiration for mothers and young women who aspire to follow their dreams while juggling parenting and pregnancy, Sania said that her decision was wholly pragmatic. It was also partly influenced by her difficult travelling with her toddler son.
"Maybe it is also about the mental frame. When you have a child, you want different things in life and there are some priorities that do change. I am lucky enough to follow my dream right after I have had him as well. He has been able to watch some of my matches and understands winning and losing," Sania said.
She said while it was a difficult decision to have made only a miracle would help restore her reflexes and bodily strength to its peak condition before the end of the season.
After her retirement announcement, the six time doubles Grand Slam champion said that she was not finding the motivation to come out and play every day has not remained the same for her anymore.
"There are more days than there used to be where I don't feel like doing that. I've always said that I will play until I enjoy that grind, the process which I'm not sure I'm enjoying as much anymore," said Mirza.
Her decision to retire was met with resignation and messages of support from the Indian sports and arts fraternity across the board with close friend and actress Rakshanda Khan hailing her for having out India on the map of tennis and proving that sports was not just a male-dominated sport.
Mirza, 35, became the first Indian to win a WTA singles title in 2005. She has also won two Grand Slam titles with partner Mahesh Bhupathi - the 2009 Australian Open mixed doubles title and the French Open 2012 mixed doubles.